The Beach Towers apartment complex overlooking Vancouver’s English Bay has sold for a record single-asset, multifamily price of $305 million according to Goodman Commercial Inc., which facilitated the transaction.
The four, 24-storey towers are located at the northwest corner of Beach Avenue and Cardero Street on a 2.66-acre waterfront property with ample space for future densification. The street addresses are 1600 Beach Ave. and 1651 Harwood St.
The first three towers were occupied in 1965 and the final tower in 1968.
They contain 601 rental apartments, as well as both indoor and outdoor parking for 455 vehicles.
The transaction closed in 2019, but has just been announced following the lifting of confidentiality restrictions. It involves the sale of an interest between two private partners, which previously owned the towers jointly as Beach Towers Investment Inc.
The price of the interest would value the full complex at $305 million.
As such, the transaction tops the previous multifamily single-asset record, the sale of The Rockhill apartments in Montreal, also in 2019, for $268 million by Minto Apartment REIT.
Interestingly, as the demand for multifamily housing across Canada has risen steadily during the past couple of years, all five of Canada’s top transactions in the sector occurred during 2019 (see list below).
The Beach Towers property
The two partners had acquired the Beach Towers properties in December 2009 for $117 million, representing a price-per-unit of $195,652. The property is currently assessed at $295,977,000.
In a release announcing the transaction, Goodman says the “coveted beachside community is situated just steps to the Seawall and Stanley Park, plus walking distance to downtown Vancouver, public transit, shopping and restaurants.”
The property is across the road from English Bay Beach and has direct access to the extensive waterfront recreational trails system which leads into Stanley Park.
Goodman principals Mark Goodman and Cynthia Jagger emphasized the “panoramic water and cityscape views” in their comments about the property.
The purchase price represents a per-door price of $507,488, which is also one of the highest on record.
The buildings contain a total gross floor area of 361,000 square feet, including 355,000 square feet of livable space. The 6,000 square feet of amenities and common space includes an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, sauna and exercise room.
The suite mix includes 562 one-bedroom units averaging 500 square feet; 25 two-bedroom apartments averaging 975 square feet; and 16 two-bedroom penthouses.
Proposal to add new apartments
After the purchase of the properties in 2009, Devonshire Properties and IBI Group construction submitted a proposal to the city to add more than 130 housing units in low- and medium-rise apartments and townhomes to the properties.
The project was approved by the city despite objections from area residents, but the owners never proceeded with the additions. The proposal was finally shelved about five years ago.
Top-5 Multifamily sales in Canada (data provided by Altus Group / RealNet)
- Beach Towers, Vancouver: 2019, $305 million, 601 apartments/units.
- Le Rockhill, Montreal: 2019, $268M, 1,004 apartments/units.
- Rossland Park, Oshawa: 2019, $220M, 911 apartments/units.
- Westwood Abbey Apartments, Mississauga: 2019, $214M, 604 apartments/units.
- Le 4300, Montreal: $192M, 319 apartments/units.