The Return of the Strata Office

Though traditionally popular amongst medical tenants, there’s been a growing trend of strata developments in Greater Vancouver. With low interest rates and a strong capital appreciation, the benefits of owning over leasing have become attractive to many industries – in particular, technology and digital media firms.

An area that is seeing this revival is Surrey. As Bisnow reported, the low-interest environment means that many businesses are seeing the value of owning a piece of a larger project. For developers, this also holds benefits, as the price per square foot for unfinished space versus condos is extremely competitive.

The City of Surrey has a number of developments under construction this year, which includes the 3 Civic Plaza by Century Group, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and Evolve at West Village by WestStone Group.

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Maskeen Business Centre, Source

With units as small as 309 sqft, the Maskeen Business Centre, Surrey’s first micro-office strata development, has been attracting interest from groups that previously wouldn’t have been able to buy into a strata project. This includes small businesses, boutique investment firms, accountants, lawyers and notaries.

In Vancouver, it was recently announced that PC Urban is launching the first new industrial strata development in five years with the three-building IntraUrban Business Park. Currently a 20,000-square-foot building on a 4.6-acre site in South Vancouver, IntraUrban will transform into 170,000 square feet of new commercial space that’s just three blocks away from a SkyTrain stop and a 15-minute drive to downtown.

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IntraUrban, Source

As reported in Property Biz Canada, PC Urban believes this new development will appeal to businesses and entrepreneurs who want to forego leasing to build equity, and opt for a city location as opposed to the suburbs. Engineering, architecture, construction and wholesale businesses are all expected to move-in.

In the past four decades, Vancouver saw a 30% decline in its supply of industrially zoned land. Over the past 10 years, the average price of industrial strata increased by 90%. With this increasingly competitive market, business owners may continually drive the growing trend of strata offices in our city. 

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