Vancouver’s condo development community is gearing up to sell its condo towers to private developers, a move that could bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the city’s coffers.
While the city is in the midst of selling its condo stock, a group of condo developers are looking to buy the towers they have built in Vancouver’s central downtown core.
According to an announcement this week, the Vancouver Community Housing Association has applied to the province for a 10-year lease on a 20-storey tower at 4100 Commercial Drive that would become the city and provincial capital’s tallest condominium building.
It is a development that has been widely expected in recent months.
It’s the first condominium development in Vancouver since 2010, when the city announced plans to build a 30-storeys, 160-unit tower at the site of the former World Trade Center.
A consortium of developers is in talks with the city to purchase the towers.
They’re also considering selling the units at market value, said Jennifer Gaudet, executive director of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, the city agency overseeing the site.
“We think we’re going to see a huge amount of revenue from this project,” Gaudel told reporters Wednesday.
Vancouver’s condo towers have been under siege for years, with builders and developers scrambling to come up with a plan that would satisfy the city with condos in the central city, a population that has grown by more than 40 per cent in the past five years.
A new tower was also being planned for the same location, but has been stalled by delays and concerns about how it would be designed and built.
The city and the province are also looking at how the project will affect the cityscape.
Gaudel said she expected that the new condo towers could be completed by 2025.
But she said it could take at least another decade to complete the new tower.
The new tower is being built on a site where the city has owned land since 2000.
The government has also said it is considering selling some of the towers to developers.
In May, the government said it was working with a private company to buy one of the units in the tower, and would buy the rest in the coming years.
Gaudet said the city was still working out the details of how the new towers would be constructed.
She said the towers would likely be built by different developers.
“We have not determined who the new developers will be,” she said.
The city is working on a master plan for the site and plans to work with the developer, she said, but said it would not be done by the end of the year.
“It is still under discussion,” Gaulet said.
“We want it to be completed as quickly as possible.”
In May, a condo developer announced plans for a 30 storeys tower on the same site, but was put on hold after the government failed to agree on a lease with the developers.
On Tuesday, the province announced it was looking into a lease agreement with the project, which would see a developer purchase the units and give them to the city.
Under the agreement, the developer would use the units to build apartments in the area.