China Aoyuan sells Burnaby housing site to local developer for $215 million

Mar 26 2022, 12:57 am

China Aoyuan Group’s turbulent financial situation has forced the company to sell its significant mixed-use, multi-building development site in Burnaby’s Brentwood Town Centre to Vancouver-based Anthem Properties Group and KingSett Capital.

A recent report by Bloomberg Tax states Aoyuan has sold The Grove project for CA$215 million, which frees up much-needed capital for the company.

The 8.3-acre property at 4500-4554 Dawson Street and 2223-2375 Alpha Avenue, currently occupied by large industrial buildings, is located one block south of SkyTrain Brentwood Town Centre Station.

4500 Dawson Street Burnaby The Grove Phase 1

Artistic rendering of Phase One of The Grove at 4500 Dawson Street, Burnaby. (IBI Group/Aoyuan International)

The developer, based in Guangzhou, is amongst a number of major real estate developers in China that are increasingly challenged by their overstretched debt commitments — largely due to the Chinese government’s recent crackdown on excessive borrowing by developers, and housing market speculation.

New policies put in place a debt ceiling on companies, which led to a cash crunch for unsustainable debt-dependent developers. The financial crisis in China’s real estate market first began with the much-reported issues of Evergrande Group, which was the second largest developer in China, in terms of sales, prior to the crackdown.

4500-4554 Dawson Street Burnaby

Site plan of the Grove at 4500-4554 Dawson Street, Burnaby. (Aoyuan International)

4500 Dawson Street Burnaby The Grove Phase 1

Development phases of The Grove at 4500 Dawson Street, Burnaby. (Aoyuan International)

Anthem Properties will retain Aoyuan’s masterplan for The Grove, which has been reviewed by the municipal government, and is now close to final approval. Phase one sales are anticipated to launch in late 2022.

Over four phases, 2,440 homes will be built, including 2,100 condominium units and 340 rental units — all contained within five condominium towers up to over 50 storeys, and two wood-frame, mid-rise affordable rental housing buildings.

There would also be about 60,000 sq ft of office and retail space. Community amenity contributions by the developer will also provide a one-acre public park, and improved trail connections to the east and south.

“With this acquisition, we are thrilled to be able to build upon Anthem’s long history of developing large-scale mixed-use projects in the City of Burnaby,” said Eric Carlson, CEO of Anthem Properties, nothing that this will be their second development in Brentwood following the 2007 completion of Tandem.

“In a supply-constrained region undergoing population growth, the project will create a significant amount of housing supply aiming to address the market’s needs at multiple levels.”

According to Aoyuan’s website, they have two remaining projects in Canada — the 44-storey One Central tower of 550 condominium homes at 10297 133A Street in Surrey City Centre, and a four-tower development with about 1,700 homes and 180,000 sq ft of commercial space in Toronto.

4500 Dawson Street Burnaby The Grove Phase 1

Artistic rendering of Phase One of The Grove at 4500 Dawson Street, Burnaby. (IBI Group/Aoyuan International)

4500 Dawson Street Burnaby The Grove Phase 1

Artistic rendering of Phase One of The Grove at 4500 Dawson Street, Burnaby. (IBI Group/Aoyuan International)

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