A new project has been launched by the Oxford Properties Group in Burnaby. The project is said to be the first multi-level industrial building in Canada. It comes with a full transport which allows access to the upper floor.
Oxford Properties Group is a manager, developer, and real estate investor. The company will begin construction of the building in the 2nd quarter of 2020. According to their estimate, it will be completed in 2022.
The building can be found in South Burnaby, at the 65-acre Riverbend Business Park of Oxford. It used to be a paperboard milling operation; however, in a few years, the site will be seeing a 707,000 sq. ft. building with more than 2 levels.
The site is close to Highway 91A and Marine Way’s intersection, and is situated beside the Fraser River. It was bought by Oxford in 2011, and the company has removed more than 300,000 cubic metres of debris and waste.
According to Jeff Miller, the head of industrial of Oxford, the new building’s ground floor will have more than 437,000 sq. feet of area. It will also have a 32-floor clear height, making it even more spacious. The building’s 2nd storey can be easily accessed by full-size transport trailers with the help of the heated ramp. It also has a space of 270,000 sq.ft., with a 130-foot truck court and 28-foot clear height.
In Burnaby, you’ll find plenty of multi-level industrial buildings. However, these buildings have office or light industrial space on their upper floors. They don’t have full truck capability on their upper floor, making Oxford’s building unique.
According to Miller, “This will be the first of its kind in Canada… They have been built globally for 20-plus years, but only in the past couple of years have they received quite a bit of attention in North America.”
He added: “You (will) have two independent, well-functioning buildings that just happen to be stacked on top of each other, with the ramp.”
The area where the building will be constructed already has five industrial buildings. Oxford’s new phase will have walking trails, which serve to attach the area to the public trail system. It will also have an amenity pier that will reach out into the river.
The new building will be leased in different ways. Several tenants can rent a single space and divide it into smaller spaces. One tenant can also take up the whole space, which can be as small as 70,000 sq. ft.
According to Miller, passenger vehicles and delivery trucks can drive to the 2nd floor. The structure will be perfect for tenants who are looking for spaces great for logistics and e-commerce-related warehousing.
The market for tenants and developers in Metro Vancouver is encountering barriers because of the surging industrial land values and 2% industrial vacancy rate.
Miller said, “If you look at where multi-storey buildings have been built globally and where they may be built now in North America, you really need to start with land scarcity and expensive, very high barriers to entry.”
The next step for Vancouver is the increase of industrial buildings’ numbers.
Miller explained: “Vancouver definitely is one of the first (regions) that checks the boxes as far as economics and land scarcity in North America.”
The lease and vacancy rates in the Greater Toronto area show that stacked industrial will be hitting it soon.
Miller said, “You’re seeing them around the boroughs of New York, where you have such a massive population. There is one that went up in Seattle… Maybe one in California, but it’s not going to be a widespread phenomenon.”