The 3.5-acre site includes Honest Ed’s, one of the first big box format stores in North America.
Colliers and Mirvish Enterprises studied the potential implications of the marketing and sale of this high-profile project to customize a marketing strategy that would create competition while maintaining strict confidentiality. As a result, the marketing plan focused on the high value retail density, which offers the rare ability to create destination urban retail for upwards of 300,000 square feet. The retail component value was viewed as the key to a successful process as the team believed the significant residential component would be valued in a narrow value range while retail value could differ significantly. In addition, the pension funds and REITs had strong access to capital when marketing commenced in early 2013.
To provide a vision on potential development planning, Bousfields was hired to perform planning rational and create concepts. The entire team understood the sensitivities surrounding Mirvish Village due to its location in the active Annex area, and Mirvish Entreprise’s desire to honour the legacy of the site. Therefore, the team focused on minimizing speculation surrounding what could be developed and any potential plans, while selecting Westbank Developments partially due to their strong track record of working with community groups to create developments appreciated by the surrounding communities upon completion.
Westbank Development’s interest stems from the desire to participate in the urbanization and intensification of strong urban communities. Their experience working with active communities in Vancouver and affinity with high-quality retail and residential developments made Westbank Developments an ideal buyer for Mirvish Village.
To assist in the need for a consultative planning process, Mirvish Enterprises agreed to enter into a leaseback on Mirvish Village for over three years, allowing Westbank Developments time to create a truly great, mixed-use urban project.
The transaction was brokered by Milton Lamb, Bryce Gibson and Audrey Albright of our Toronto Downtown office, and Robert Freedman and Jonathan Plotkin of our New York office.