Massive New Office Supply Coming to False Creek Flats
23 Jan 2018
First new building launching this spring will see the homecoming of Finning, as well as new tenants including Blackbird Interactive, Samsung and more
This spring, PCI Developments and Low Tide Properties will open the first of many new office developments to be launched in False Creek Flats. The new, seven storey building at 565 Great Northern Way will offer 160,000 square feet of Class A office space designed for the emerging digital media and creative sectors and is already 72% pre-leased. This is the first multi-tenant office building in the area in 18 years, and the first of more than 1.9 million square feet of density that are planned to be built in the neighborhood by this development team alone.
To put the scale of the planned new developments in context, it will be the equivalent of adding almost a tenth of the current office space in downtown Vancouver to the False Creek area. "This is big news for a city that now has the second lowest downtown office vacancy rate in North America and limited new supply coming to market," says Blair Quinn, Executive Vice President at CBRE Canada. "This adds significant supply to an emerging neighborhood that has been endorsed by the global and local creative and tech companies, including the first tenants into this new building."
Finning International, the world's largest dealer of Cat equipment, is moving its global headquarters from downtown Vancouver back to False Creek Flats, occupying 29,000 square feet in the new building for several groups including its digital division. Blackbird Interactive Game Studio will be leasing 29,000 square feet, with Spaces, a co-working space, leasing 39,000, and Samsung, leasing 20,000 square feet. Others will be announced soon.
"Our goal was to attract a vibrant mix of tech-savvy companies into our flagship building," says Tim Grant, VP of PCI Developments. "With these four anchor tenants, we have brought together a unique mix of international and local, established and entrepreneurial companies to build on the dynamic culture of the area."
For Finning, a company founded and headquartered in Vancouver since 1933, it is a historical homecoming for an international company whose roots on the site go back to 1964. For many years, Finning was the largest landholder along Great Northern Way. But in 2001, the company donated 7.3 hectares of industrial lands and historic warehouses to UBC, SFU, BCIT and Emily Carr University, changing the area's future forever, transforming it into a hub for creative tech companies and digital media.
"Finning's move highlights yet another massive change to the area," says Quinn. "It's not just tech and creative companies moving in, but more traditional companies like Finning that are changing their business model in order to evolve, hire and retain talent. The game has changed and Finning is the perfect example of what is happening in the world of business and how False Creek Flats is the epicentre for this new model."
"As we mark our 85th year in business, we at Finning are very excited to be returning to Great Northern Way," says Dave Cummings, Chief Information Officer for Finning International. "This move not only pays tribute to our company's legacy in British Columbia, but it also sets us up for the future by bringing multiple Finning teams under one roof in a space that fosters innovation and collaboration – and places us in a burgeoning digital and academic hub."
The LEED Gold office complex includes a large rooftop deck with panoramic views of downtown and the North Shore Mountains and a fitness centre. There will be a distinctive 2,000 square feet retail pavilion with food and services for the neighbourhood, as well as a 20,000 square feet public plaza.
False Creek Flats will continue to transform with the development of additional new office buildings and as new businesses move in, and now features startup studios, media exhibit space for virtual and augmented reality, creative technology classrooms, parks, bike lanes and student housing. "With nearby Mount Pleasant now a mature area with limited supply," says Quinn, "False Creek Flats is poised to become a major player in the city's tech ecosystem with the addition of this new supply. And with the proximity of the city's universities and the Centre for Digital Media, it's an unparalleled location for providing access to institutional facilities and a pipeline of future tech talent."
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