Municipal policies in many jurisdictions are supporting density by favouring infill development and aligning policies to support ridership for mass transit infrastructure. We’ve experienced these trends at Broadway Tech Centre in Vancouver, where office tenants value access to transit to help attract talent. At Via 6, a multi-family development in Seattle, we have been able to respond to demand for both public transit and walkable neighbourhoods.
Broadway Tech Centre is a 17-acre site that has undergone a phased redevelopment over the last 12 years, and is only a 15-minute ride from downtown Vancouver via public transit. The site is nearing completion of a transformation from under-utilized land and functionally obsolete warehouse space to a world-class business campus.
The project began in 2000, and by 2002, the Millenium Line was added to Vancouver’s light rail transit (LRT) system, with Renfrew Station directly adjacent to the property. Broadway Tech Centre is planned to include eight buildings totaling over 900,000 square feet of office space when completed. Tenants that have located at Broadway Tech in recent years have indicated that proximity to the LRT was a factor in the decision.
Tenants are conscious of the need to locate in a place where they can attract talent. Many of Broadway Tech’s tenants attract young workforces, and those employees are showing a preference for taking public transit to work. For a tenant who does not need to be in the central business district, a development such as Broadway Tech Centre, offers the right balance of Class A space, affordability, access, and amenities that help to attract a qualified workforce.
Access to multiple modes of transportation is increasingly important to attracting strong office tenants, and ultimately, to delivering strong returns to our clients.
Via6 is a new multi-family development in Seattle, targeting LEED Gold certification. Located at Sixth and Lenora, Via6 will be Washington State’s highest density residential neighbourhood. The development caters to individuals looking for an urban lifestyle where owning a car is unnecessary. With a Walk Score and a Transit Score of 100, Via 6 has access to entertainment, shopping and dining in any direction. Opened in 2013, Via6is already creating a vibrant community.
||Several trends that are amplified in Seattle and the city’s existing characteristics help to position Via6 for success as a development and an investment. High tech jobs which tend to attract a younger workforce make up a significant portion of job market in Seattle. Younger workers have a preference for urban lifestyles, change jobs frequently, and value mobility over home ownership. In addition, that younger workforce helps to drive the trend of smaller households where more and more people are choosing to live alone.
There is a growing preference for sustainable and green lifestyles, a preference that is well-established in Seattle. Sustainable preferences may be related to how Seattle citizens already choose to get to work – approximately 60% choose public transit, walking, cycling, carpools or another option other than a single occupancy vehicle.
Via6 has already demonstrated an ability to attract residents to the property. The walkability and other sustainability attributes of the property are a notable factor in drawing residents in, helping to drive value for the clients.
Broadway Tech Centre is owned by bcIMC. Via6 is owned by the Multi-Employer Property Trust and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.