Why Are B.C. Developers Flying South?

When the recession hit, U.S. commercial real estate was defaulting, their dollar was at record lows, and access to financing was nearly impossible. This gave Canadian developers the perfect opportunity to snatch up properties like never before.

Since then, Canada has outpaced every other country in U.S. acquisition, including a combined Europe. Why exactly? For B.C. developers, Vancouver’s renowned property costs and high competition force many to seek opportunities elsewhere. Second, the U.S. offers land value at a much lower value. And third, with a population of more than 321 million people, there is a high demand for development. Compared to Canada’s 35 million residents, the United States has 12 times the amount of people that need to shop, eat, and occupy retail space.


Vancouver-based developer, Amacon, is moving forward on a 28-story tower at 1133 S. Hope St. in downtown Los Angeles that received city approvals in 2008 but then stalled, partly because of the recession. 


For the most part, Vancouver developers have been widely accepted by our American counterparts. They bring a new sense of community, green sensibility, and pedestrian focus to real estate developments that are signature of our west coast city.


The Onni Group’s Level Furnished Living in downtown Los Angeles. This high-end, mixed-use building offers unique extended-stay accommodations. Units can only be rented, with retailers and restaurants occupying the ground floor. 

The challenges of Vancouver acquisition have been widely expressed amongst thecommercial real estate industry. With foreign investment and limited land available, Canadian developers are spending more money investing outside our country than in it. If firms want to expand and grow, the United States plays a pivotal role in driving these ambitions. Now that the U.S. dollar and economy is on the ‘up and up’, the pace at which developers will acquire American land may change. However, it’s clear that the local market has only fuelled those to fly south.  

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