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Since the start of the pandemic, Vancouver and Langley have been struggling to meet the rising demand for industrial properties. Although the areas are growing commercial hubs, the lack of light industrial space has been forcing small businesses out of the community for years. Wesmont Properties is planning to put a stop to this trend.
Run by John Tilstra, Wesmont has undertaken its first strata industrial development project at the corner of 62nd Avenue and 203rd Street. The 5.13-acre greenfield site will provide the much-needed industrial space to the Langley CRE market.
Over two decades have passed since Langley last saw any similar development in the community. As a result, the area’s been in dire need of light industrial properties, facing industrial vacancy rates of under 2% since 2016. In the first Q of 2021, vacancy rates hit an all-time low of just 0.6% – just slightly lower than the 0.9% in Metro Vancouver.
Understandably, the Wesmont project attracted a lot of attention.
Tilstra has been trying to buy and develop the empty land for almost 30 years, but the site went on the market only last year. Wesmont acquired the Wesmont Centre land for $16.5 million in February 2020 and will bring 119,887 square feet of industrial space by the end of Q2 in 2022.
The businesses Wesmont Centre will house are set to create 170 jobs in the Langley community.
The supply chain disruption during the pandemic meant that many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Langley and Vancouver needed to increase their storage space and optimize their logistics. However, investing in a lease pro forma would cost more than it is worth for these SMBs. Buying strata development pro forma makes more financial sense and offers a better return on investment.
Almost 90% of all potential Wesmont Centre buyers want strata development – seven of Wesmont’s eight units that went on sale for $445 per square foot have already been sold.
The Wesmont Centre includes three buildings of small-bay warehouse space. The buildings will have 26-foot clear heights, on-site parking, and grade-level loading doors.
Each unit includes bathrooms, mezzanines, glazing, enclosed stairwells, and front office/rear-loading front office/front-loading layout.
The project will also have a 1,385-square-foot suite with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a fireplace, and air conditioning.
Wesmont Centre is bringing the much-needed industrial space to the B.C. CRE market. The project is already attracting several SMBs that want to remain close to local amenities, so we can expect to see some healthy activity upon its completion.
The Canadian CRE market is evolving, and the industrial sector has never been stronger, bringing great potential for significant ROI for any investor.