Avison
Credit: Avison Young/Jason Statler Photography

Experts predict a post-industrial future for Vancouver to come sooner than later

The days of industrial property in Vancouver could be numbered, according to Avison Young Inc. A new report by the Toronto-based commercial real estate services firm puts industrial building sales in the city at $192 million in 2016, the highest annual total on record. However, that value was based on 43 sales, the lowest such number since 2009, when 36 deals returned a combined $34 million.

Sales for 2017 aren’t projected to be quite as high: as of September 30, Avison Young notes, 35 deals translated into $88.5 million. In the third quarter of this year, Vancouver’s vacancy rate for industrial space was just 1.6 per cent.

The largest industrial lease so far in 2017 was by Article.com, a winner at the latest EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards. The online furniture retailer relocated its headquarters from Railtown to a 115,000-square-foot building at 1010 Raymur Avenue.

The report points out that many of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods, like Mount Pleasant and Grandview-Woodland, are changing, abandoning the industrial space that defined them in the past. BCBusiness contributor Kerry Gold made similar observations in a recent feature.