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First-of-its-kind Deal by Transit Station: Expansion of Ashley Mar Co-op

ashley-mar-coop

First-of-its-kind deal in Canada leads to expansion of Ashley Mar co-op and creation of 524 secured market rental units next to transit in City of Vancouver

Maximizing the opportunity to increase non-market housing offering by transit

With the implementation of the Marpole Plan in 2014, the opportunity to increase non-market housing presented itself near the Marine Drive Canada Line Station in Vancouver. The buildings of Ashley Mar Co-op (founded in 1983) were beginning to reach the end of their useful life. With the co-op’s 54 units sitting on approximately 1.5 acres of land, the Colliers team led by Hart Buck, Oliver Omi and Jennifer Darling saw the opportunity to increase the number of co-op units in a new tower at no cost to the members. This could be achieved by exchanging surplus land on the property to a market developer in return for constructing a new co-op tower.

The Colliers team began the process by sending out a request for proposals (RFP) to a select group of qualified development partners. After an exhaustive search, the co-op selected Intracorp, which has a track record of successful partnerships with other non-profit groups. Careful consultation took place with co-op members to understand the needs and wants of the residents as well as to address their concerns about the project. After several rounds of workshops and deliberations and multiple iterations, a proposal was accepted that would see the co-op relocated to the quieter southwest corner of the site on Ash Street, with two market towers located adjacent to the co-op.

Lack of housing supply calls for change in strategy

While planning was taking place, tight supply in the Vancouver rental market continued to put pressure on rental rates, exacerbating the housing crunch. It was at this point that the project was revised to incorporate secured-market rentals instead of condos and a new application was submitted to the City of Vancouver. This new proposal would satisfy the City’s desire for increased rental supply to grow and expand non-market co-op housing and reduce the need for cars by densifying areas around stations.

After several years of discussions and negotiations with the City, the project took its final shape, and an official rezoning application was filed.

Unanimous project approval a positive outcome for all parties

The Colliers team is proud to have planned and executed the transaction on behalf of the Ashley Mar Co-op and thanks all parties involved in getting the project approved by Council. The team extends a special thank you and acknowledgement to members of the Ashley Mar Co-op who spent countless hours working diligently to keep the project moving forward despite the challenges along the way. Their vision and dedication to the future of the co-op were critical in getting the City on board with the project.

The new three-tower project will add to the growing Marine Gateway Node (Gateway to Vancouver from Richmond). The team’s strategy and creative thinking resulted in a win for the co-op, developer and City of Vancouver.


For More Information, Please Contact:

Hart Buck

Vice President | Personal Real Estate Corporation

Vancouver

Hart is a Vice President in the Vancouver office of Colliers International.  He is a senior member of the Land and Investment group having joined Colliers in 1985.  Hart’s early specialization in development land sales has allowed him to create many long-term relationships within the development community. These relationships include developers, consultants associated with the development process, and municipal planners and officials, all of which offers Hart’s clients access to critical elements of the development process required to complete a development land transaction.   Recent changes to the Strata Property Act have allowed Hart to show case his expertise in the Court approved sales process which is a requriment of a Court sanctioned Strata Wind Up. 

As an active member of the Vancouver Urban Development Institute Hart is able to keep in touch with the market and maintain the relationships that allow the exchange of ideas and information within it. 

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Oliver Omi

Associate Vice President | Investment | Personal Real Estate Corporation

Vancouver

Joining Colliers in 2010, Oliver’s focus is with investment properties and redevelopment sites. Through his market knowledge and study of city planning policy, Oliver has helped clients position themselves prior to major changes and capitalize on unrealized growth.  

With approximately half a billion dollars in asset value sold, Oliver seeks to add value to each transaction for his clients either through his strong underwriting capabilities, income analysis or uncovering additional rezoning potential.

Oliver’s track record of success includes Downtown office buildings/redevelopment sites, Transit oriented mixed-use projects and large-scale redevelopment sites.

In addition to following local market drivers, Oliver’s attention to macro-economic indicators are key in identifying key points in the real estate cycle. Oliver is a subscriber of Real Vision Television and has attended the Strategic Investment Conference (Mauldin Economics).

Accomplishments

-Approximately $600,000,000 in asset value sold

-Large scale redevelopment transactions involving institutional/private equity funds

-Broadway Corridor (Broadway Plan) Specialist

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Jennifer Darling

Senior Associate

Vancouver

Jennifer joined Colliers in September, 2015 as a member of the Western Canadian Acceleration Program. She specializes in the sale of Redevelopment Land and Investment Properties. Jennifer has established expertise in the newly adopted Strata Wind Up Process in British Columbia. She assists Strata Corporations through the Wind Up process to allow their owners to capitalize on significant profit opportunities and transition smoothly into new ownership.

She previously worked for Speedo Canada (PVH Canada, Inc) and was responsible for all contract and sponsorship management as well as national sales and marketing initiatives. 

Jennifer is a graduate of McGill University where she studied business with specializations in marketing and accounting. She is currently a candidate in the Diploma in Urban Land Economics program at the University of British Columbia specializing in Development. 

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