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Anthem expands Victoria portfolio; buys strategic site

Real Estate News EXchange
Evan Duggan

Vancouver-based Anthem Properties has purchased a mixed-use commercial building in the heart of Victoria West.

The single-storey, 45,000-square-foot building at 220 Bay St. is currently fully leased, including tenants Castle Building Supplies, Carmanah Technologies and Big Brothers Big Sisters Victoria and Area.

The building is located near the two bridges that lead to the downtown core, said Jordan Carlson, Anthem’s director of investment. “(That area) has become a great neighbourhood itself due to (the city’s) favourable planning policy.

“This property in particular we felt is strategically located, close to the core with multiple points of access.”

He said the three tenants provide stable cash flow and the building is flexible in terms of its uses.

“It has got the hardware store in there and there is a 13,000-square-foot unit that is complete office and there’s another 3,700-square-foot unit that’s also office. I think (the building) has been repurposed over time.”

Carlson stressed Anthem has no plans in the foreseeable future to redevelop the site, although it has been designated for higher density.

RENX left messages seeking comment on the sale with Castle Building Supplies, Carmanah Technologies and Big Brothers Big Sisters Victoria, but did not immediately hear back.

BC Assessment, the province’s property assessment service, valued 220 Bay St. at $10.4 million in July 2018. The land component was valued at $10.23 million.

Victoria offers strong fundamentals

Victoria shows strong economic fundamentals and Anthem expects the city to continue to grow, Carlson said.

“We’ve always liked Victoria as a secondary city because it does have all the attractive fundamentals — a diversified economy, in-migration.”

He said it’s a livable city with a temperate climate and located geographically near Vancouver which makes investment and development fairly easy to arrange.

The property fits in well with Anthem’s portfolio in Victoria, which includes Market Square, Union, The Dominion Rocket and Tillicum Centre.

In February, Anthem co-purchased the Tillicum Centre shopping mall with Crestpoint Real Estate Investments for $110 million.

RioCan REIT (REI-UN-T) had owned the shopping mall and its 40 stores, including Lowe’s, Save-On-Foods, London Drugs, Winners and a Cineplex cinema. Tillicum Centre is located about five kilometres north of downtown Victoria at 3170 Tillicum Rd.

Anthem holds mix of commercial and residential assets in B.C. capital

Market Square has been in Anthem’s portfolio for more than 15 years and includes about 100,000 square feet of street retail and office space in a brick-and-beam heritage building in downtown Victoria, Carlson said.

The Dominion Rocket is a five-storey former hotel and a heritage building from the early 1900s. The building has been converted into 97 micro rental units with about 12,000 square feet of retail at grade on Yates Street.

Union is right across Pandora Street from Market Square.

“That was a green field site we had acquired and built into a five-storey condo project with retail at grade,” Carlson said. “It’s 133 units and we retain the retail and manage it today.”

Founded 28 years ago, Anthem and Anthem United have invested in, developed or managed – alone or in partnership – more than 260 residential, commercial and retail projects with a total value of more than $6 billion across western North America.

Their residential portfolio includes 14,600 homes that are complete, in design or under construction, including single-family communities, townhomes and master-planned mixed-use or residential communities.

Anthem co-owns and manages 5 million square feet of retail, industrial, residential rental and office space and holds more than 5,000 acres of land across Alberta, B.C. and California.

Carlson wouldn’t disclose additional specific future plans for Victoria, but said it’s a market that they will continue to monitor and remain active in.

“I believe Victoria is here to stay as a very legitimate and attractive investment location,” Carlson said.

View the original article from RENX.ca here.