Pension fund sell off won’t affect Royal Bay development plans

GableCraft, SeaCliff purchase land

In a significant divestiture of ownership, the British Columbia Investment Management Corp. (bcIMC) has sold off land at the Royal Bay development in Colwood.

Lance Floer, speaking on behalf of GableCraft Homes, explained Tuesday that bcIMC had sold all of the lands west of Metchosin Road to GableCraft, and that all the lands between Metchosin Road and the water was sold to the Sea Cliff Properties.

The bcIMC is the public sector pension fund for British Columbia with more than 84 per cent of its holdings arising from the public service pension plans in B.C. It handles international investments worth in excess of $125 billion on behalf of more than half a million active and retired public sector employees.

The 419 acre property was first purchased by bcIMC in 2012 from Lehigh Heidelberg and was part of the Producers Pit gravel operation that had been a fixture in the community for nearly a century.

Speaking on behalf of QuadReal, Ian Noble of Edelman Vancouver said that QuadReal was established in 2016 to manage and expand bcIMC’s domestic and global real estate holdings. He said that the investment strategy of QuadReal had evolved since its inception and that the core focus of new development “is now on investing in industrial, high-density residential, office and retail asset classes in major urban centres.”

He confirmed that it was this shift in priorities that led to the firm’s sale of the Royal Bay properties in December.

The Royal Bay project is designed to increase the availability of housing in Colwood and has been touted as the largest single housing development in Colwood’s history.

The project includes 1.4 kilometres of oceanfront properties and, when completed, is planned to include more than 2,300 houses and a significant commercial component when it was under the control of Royal Bay LP, a wholly owned subsidiary of bcIMC.

The project will include a series of inter-connected communities that will house approximately 7,000 people and, as planned, will include extensive recreational components, including parkland, wood and water features and public access to the waterfront.

Floer confirmed that the project is continuing and will span a period of about 10 years in a phased approach.

“This is a fantastic project, and regardless of any changes in ownership, the plan is still solid and will be a tremendous boon to Colwood.”


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