PC Urban to build stacked industrial strata in Vancouver

IMAGE: Intraurban Evolution will be a stacked industrial strata development in the Vancouver False Creek Flats neighbourhood. (Courtesy PC Urban)

IntraUrban Evolution will be a stacked industrial strata development in the Vancouver False Creek Flats neighbourhood. (Courtesy PC Urban)

PC Urban Properties plans to construct a stacked industrial strata development, IntraUrban Evolution, in Vancouver’s rapidly developing False Creek Flats neighbourhood.

“We’re really excited about the potential for this development to showcase a solution to the lack of industrial and commercial land in Vancouver’s urban core,” said Brent Sawchyn, CEO of PC Urban, in a statement announcing the development. “What makes Evolution a stacked industrial offering is the shared freight elevator and the presence of new and traditional industries using the space on multiple levels.

“This will be the first of many stacked industrial projects to come for Vancouver.”  

IntraUrban Evolution is one of very few stacked industrial development projects attempted so far in Metro Vancouver. But, with very few areas available for industrial expansion, a vacancy rate of 1.4 per cent at the end of 2018, and rental rates which jumped 16 per cent last year, the trend is picking up steam.

Features of IntraUrban Evolution

Located on the former Able Auctions property on Vernon Drive, the four-storey, 104,000-square-foot building will feature:

* customizable warehouse space from 1,000 to 29,000 square feet;

* 18-foot clear height ceilings,

* loading docks and high-speed freight elevators;

* office space on the third and fourth floors;

* common areas and a rooftop patio.

“This is the first stacked, multi-storey industrial strata in the Flats and one of very few in Vancouver of this size,” said Matt Smith, vice-president at Colliers International in Vancouver, in the release. “It’s a truly unique opportunity for small- and medium-sized businesses to secure a foothold in the urban core  where supply of any industrial space is at record lows.”

Smith expects the spaces to attract technology-oriented manufacturing companies as well as traditional industrial manufacturers ranging from design and fashion to retail. He said all of these sectors want proximity to the downtown core.

“With virtually no vacant industrial land left in the city and land values at record highs, industrial and creative manufacturing businesses that need to be close to the core have nowhere to locate their businesses,” said Sawchyn in the release. “On top of that, they are often faced with continuously increasing rents and displacement from older buildings.

“We have taken an obsolete, underutilized property and converted it to stacked industrial strata in the heart of the city, which means those businesses can buy their own space in a location that is close to downtown, to their employees and customers.”

Vancouver collision firm buys first floor

No. 1 Collision has already purchased the first floor. At 29,000 square feet, the luxury auto repair company is expanding in Vancouver after four years of looking for space big enough to accommodate its needs. CEO Robert Walker was attracted both by the opportunity to own his own property, as well as the multi-storey industrial model.

“It’s hard to find space in downtown Vancouver and for us, this area is close to the dealers we work with,” he said. “Our space requirements are so big and specific, long term it makes sense to own.

“We are really excited about the evolution of the area, the quality construction and architecture of this development and our ability to customize the space. Multi-storey is a great idea for Vancouver.”

This is PC Urban’s fifth industrial strata development in four years. After the success of its first IntraUrban project on Laurel Street in Vancouver, the company launched three similar industrial strata offerings in Richmond, Burnaby and Kelowna.

All sold out before completion and early investors and business owners have seen values increase 160 per cent since 2013, PC Urban says.

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