How Grosvenor Americas is Forging

Monday, August 17th, 2015


Grosvenor Americas has received unanimous rezoning approval from the District of North Vancouver for a mixed-use project in Edgemont Village, support secured largely thanks to the long-term vision put forth by the firm.

Grosvenor Edgemont, rendered below, will have 82 residential units (a mix of townhomes and condos) and 62k SF of retail along Edgemont Boulevard, anchored by a Thrifty Foods. Grosvenor Americas SVP and GM Michael Ward tells us the plan is to have a restaurant go in there as well. With rezoning approval in place, the next step is getting a building permit for the project, which Michael—a North Van resident himself who lives a mile away from the site—tells us is expected within the next six months. Construction is slated to begin in early 2016.

Getting the nod from North Vancouver is huge; the municipality is notoriously tough on developers. But Michael notes Grosvenor’s big-picture approach —in the case of Edgemont it plans on owning the retail space “for quite some time”— makes community consultation a top priority. In addition to the usual public meetings and presentations, the builder has for the past two years rented out a retail space in Edgemont Village to serve as a public information centre, with Grosvenor team members on hand to field queries and have direct conversations with concerned citizens, which Michael says has helped to combat misinformation.

Public consultation can be a lengthy process, “but I think everyone around here feels at the end of the day you end up with a project that improves the neighbourhood and is a better project for us overall as a business proposition,” says Michael. It doesn’t hurt that a number of senior management at Grosvenor, like him, live in North Van, as well as in West Vancouver, where the company is developing Ambleside, a mixed-use development on the waterfront. “Perhaps that’s coincidence,” he says, “but certainly there are a number of people here who have a vested interest in both those neighbourhoods.”

Speaking of Grosvenor Ambleside, construction has just begun on the $325M project—with 98 high-end condos, plus 35k SF of retail along Marine Drive—that Michael, who caught the school bus across the street from the site when he was 12, hopes will infuse new life into an area that hasn’t seen much development since those days. Grosvenor is negotiating with a number of groups to lease space, says Michael, with potential for a restaurant, florist, coffee shop and an urban grocer to locate there. “We’ve looked to who we think are the best tenants around Vancouver in each of those categories.”

And the development continues. Late last year Grosvenor acquired a downtown site at the corner of Hornby and Pacific streets, where it is in the initial stages of planning for a high-rise residential tower, Michael tells us. “We bought two development sites, side by side separated by a city alley,” he notes, adding that the plan is include community uses on the second parcel. “For us it’s not about just one project, getting in and getting out,” he stresses. “The long-term success of the neighbourhood is what’s vitally important.”

© Copyright 2015 Bisnow

Comments are closed.