From the 2013 Influencer Index: The head of The Salient Group has emerged as a city visionary when it comes to real estate
For a city as young as Vancouver, it’s fitting that the man behind much of its most exciting development is a young gun himself. Robert Fung, the 46-year-old president of real estate development firm The Salient Group, was one of the biggest forces in turning Gastown into Vancouver’s hippest neighbourhood, full of clothing boutiques, restaurants and bars and tech companies. Besides rejuvenating Vancouver’s oldest postal code (with projects like the Paris Block and the Taylor Building), Fung also set the bar for green development when he trialed the city’s first gold LEED-standard building in the Flack Block on Water Street.
Named three times to Vancouver magazine’s annual Power 50 list, Fung’s influence was once again heralded last year when he was bestowed the inaugural Emerging Visionary award through the Museum of Vancouver’s City Shapers Awards. “We felt that Robert Fung’s influence across a number of different areas would indicate that he was an emerging city visionary. He brought an old part of the city back to life and he also enabled the creative industries to flourish,” says Kate Follington, director of development and marketing for the museum.
For his next venture, Fung is looking east to the historic city of New Westminster where plans for revamping the Trapp Block building are in the works. One of the only affordable areas left in Greater Vancouver, New Westminster is poised to become the next Mecca of the city’s creative elite. As Gastown’s success has demonstrated, in the high-stakes real estate gambling game that Vancouverites love to play, following Fung’s lead is as close to a safe bet as you’ll find.