PC Urban Properties plans to launch its first industrial strata development in Greater Victoria, the largest of its kind in the region in the past decade.
The 4.6-acre site at 1764 Island Highway is across from the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre in an area being revitalized through site upzoning and several mixed-use developments under construction. PC Urban considers it a prime location for small and medium businesses looking to buy their own real estate and build equity in their companies
“Record-low mortgage rates and rising industrial lease rates are an incentive for businesses to buy rather than lease,” PC Urban chief executive officer Brent Sawchyn said in the announcement.
“We are excited to create a quality, well-designed industrial space for businesses in the Greater Victoria market and to bring our successful IntraUrban brand to the Island.”
1764 Island Highway site’s features
The Vancouver-based industrial, office, residential and retail development company acquired the property, which is located in Colwood — an outlying township near Victoria — last month.
The proposed development will feature 123,000 square feet of light industrial space and 12,000 square feet of office space over three buildings. Unit options will range in size from 1,500 square feet and up.
Features will include built-in concrete mezzanines and contemporary storefronts with generous glazing. One building will include a floor with office space. The second will have frontage on Island Highway and Wilfert Road, which bisects the site. The third will be 23,000 square feet.
PC Urban is hoping to receive approval to rezone the site for mixed-use employment and to start construction this summer. A late 2022 completion would then be anticipated.
A public hearing on the project is scheduled for Jan. 25.
Appetite for industrial strata space in Victoria
Victoria’s 0.7 per cent industrial vacancy rate is among the lowest in North America and its average industrial lease rates rank with the highest in Canada.
There’s been a limited amount of industrial strata development during the past decade and most existing and planned industrial buildings in the market are for lease, making the 1764 Island Highway project a rare offering.
“Owner-occupiers are more interested now than ever before in owning strata space because most don’t have the time, capital and expertise to buy the land, take the property through the rezoning and planning process and then build,” CBRE senior vice-president Ross Marshall said in the release.
“The development and construction process is too onerous, and there is a level of uncertainty that exists with every potential development.”
PC Urban’s IntraUrban business parks
The 1764 Island Highway development would be part of PC Urban’s industrial strata ownership line of IntraUrban business parks which it launched in 2016.
IntraUrban’s first location was at 8811 Laurel St. in Vancouver, which sold out. Subsequent British Columbia developments at 5495 Regent St. in Brentwood, 1625 Dilworth Dr. in Kelowna and 11111 Twigg Place in Richmond also sold out.
PC Urban submitted applications to the City of Vancouver for two more strata industrial projects in South Vancouver, which would add 154,346 square feet of leasable space to the market, last month.
The two sites, 2.24 acres on Ontario Street and 2.01 acres on East Kent Avenue, were recently acquired in conjunction with Nicola Wealth Real Estate. Both buildings are scheduled for summer 2022 occupancy.