Houses for sale in Ottawa

A second high-profile high-rise tower that was planned for the West End of Vancouver is now joining the ever-growing list of development projects that are facing insolvency, with the developer in debt and the project site now being sold through a court-ordered foreclosure process, according to filings in the Supreme Court of British Columbia and a sales brochure obtained by STOREYS.

The project is the 28-storey, 300-ft-tall mixed-use tower that was planned for 1555 Robson Street, at the intersection with Cardero Street, which was set to have 177 residential units, social housing units that were acquired by the City of Vancouver, as well as office and retail space. The project was first proposed in 2018, according to City of Vancouver records, and the site is currently occupied by a vacant low-rise commercial building that shares a rear lane with Westbank’s Alberni by Kengo Kuma tower.


The developer of the project is VKJ (Cardero) Investment LP and VKJ (Cardero) GP Ltd., who legally own the property under 1135952 BC Ltd. and operated as Vivagrand Developments, whose Facebook page describes itself as the “North American office of Xiangli, a leading real estate firm with 22 years of experience.”

The foreclosure proceedings were initiated by Pacifica Mortgage Investment Corporation in June 2023, after the developer defaulted on a loan provided to them by Pacifica for the principal amount of $40M, in a loan agreement that was reached in December 2021.

Other respondents listed in Pacifica’s petition to the court include King One Development Corp Ltd., King One (Cardero) Development Corp Ltd., JPV Real Estate Capital Ltd., JPV Real Estate Capital (Cardero) Ltd., Align BC Properties Corp, Align BC Development (Cardero) Corp., Zhong Liang, He Xing Liang, Xue Fen Tan, and Genesis Mortgage Investment Corp. The roles of those respondents in the 1555 Robson project were not all detailed, but they are likely all stakeholders or creditors in the project.

According to court documents, the developer defaulted on the loan in early 2023, with Pacifica issuing a demand for payment on May 8, 2023. Interest was acummulating at a daily rate of $13,146.92 and the total amount owed had reached $40,498,234.59 by then. By the time the court granted an order nisi in July — an order that confirms the debt — the outstanding amount had reached $41,614,760.99.

That order nisi also set the redemption date — the date by which the debtor has to pay the outstanding amount in order to stave off foreclosure — for January 20, 2024. That day came and passed, with the developer failing to pay the amount owed and creditors subsequently filing for conduct of sale, allowing them to sell the property to recover their losses.

Applications for conduct of sale were filed by both Pacifica Mortgage Investment Corporation and Genesis Mortgage Investment Corp and were both granted by the Supreme Court on February 12. Genesis Mortgage Investment Corp holds a second-ranking mortgage against the 1555 Robson property and were owed $11,528,566.82 as of August 22, 2023.

According to the orders granted by the Court this week, Genesis will have an initial period of time in which it can find a buyer for the property. The sales brochure for the property obtained by STOREYS confirms that the property is being listed on behalf of Genesis. The listing team consists of Jim Szabo, Tony Quattrin, and Carter Kerzner of CBRE.

The vacant commercial building that currently occupies 1555 Robson Street.The vacant commercial building that currently occupies 1555 Robson Street.(CBRE)

The 28-storey tower planned for 1555 Robson Street in Vancouver's West End.The 28-storey tower planned for 1555 Robson Street in Vancouver’s West End.(Arcadis IBI Group)

The sales brochure notes that the property carries “the potential to build a high-density, 100% market rental residential tower located in Downtown Vancouver’s West End” and that “the OCP does not have a requirement for affordable housing or below-market units for a rental project.”

The property was listed with no asking price, but BC Assessment’s latest assessment values the property at $57,163,900. A case document from late August stated that an appraisal of the site concluded that its value is lower than the aggregrate debt owed to Pacifica and Genesis, which totalled to less than $55M at that time.

Genesis will have the exclusive right to sell the property until April 12, after which conduct of sale will shift to Pacifica.

Any sale of the property will require final approval from the Supreme Court.

The 1555 Robson project is the second West End high-rise tower in as many months to head towards a sale after the development became insolvent, with the first being the 55-storey tower planned for 1045 Haro Street, which was placed under receivership last month, as first reported by STOREYS.

For Vivagrand Developments, this is also not the first of its planned projects to fall into trouble. It’s mixed-use project consisting of a 33-storey condo tower and 12-storey office tower that was planned for 5812-5888 Cambie Street was listed for sale via a court order last year. In 2017, Vivagrand also abruptly cancelled its Langara West condo project.



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