Growing up on a farm in Northern Italy with 11 brothers and sisters, it’s hard to believe that real estate mogul Nat Bosa started from such humble beginnings. Born on December 25, 1944, he moved to Canada in 1958 with his family in search of a better life, and it’s fair to say it was the right move. Despite having only a ninth grade education, Bosa has become a recognizable name with an international reputation as a respected and innovative development company from the west coast.
Recently, Nat was honoured at the NAIOP Annual Icon Lunch at the Four Season’s Hotel, where we learned about his journey that brought him to where he is today. Though he’s had many accomplishments, there are three in particular that he is the most proud of.
“This project really was the gate to the city,” said Bosa. “At the time, Mount Pleasant was a bad part of town. But with the construction of Citygate, we were able to turn it around.”
On the former lands of Expo ’86, Bosa developed 9.5 acres of residential homes and dedicated 20% of the project to social housing. With stunning views of downtown, access to public transportation, and walking distance to Vancouver’s top attractions, Citygate expanded the perimeter of downtown and offered a new community in the growing urban center.
“The work we did really made a significant change to the city. It’s not about the money, it’s not about Nat Bosa, it’s about ‘let’s do it for the city’.”
For the City of San Diego, Nat Bosa needs no introduction. Revitalizing the downtown core, he built over 1,600 new homes overlooking San Diego Bay in just eight years. From job creation to community building, he’s made it into one of the most sought-after areas to live in Southern California.
The Empress Hotel
“The Empress Hotel is like an old mistress. She’s going to give me good times, she’s going to give me a headache, and she’s going to cost me a piss pot of money. She’s been true to the T.”
Putting it in his signature way, The Empress Hotel in Victoria has been a challenging project for Bosa, but also a rewarding one. Paying $50 million for the property, he’s spent more than the purchase price on the iconic restoration project. However, to him “it’s undoubtedly a privilege to own something like that. We wanted to do this project for the City of Victoria. It‘s our gift to them.”
We’ll be sharing more about the iconic developer in our upcoming blogs, follow us on Twitter for updates!