Vancouver Davie & Nicola Project Site To Be Sold Over M Debt

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The planned Davie & Nicola condo project set for the West End of Vancouver will not be getting off the ground anytime soon, as the development site has been listed for sale as part of a foreclosure proceeding, according to Supreme Court of British Columbia filings obtained by STOREYS.

The developer of the project is Align Properties, formerly known as Vivagrand Developments – the North American arm of Chinese real estate developer Xiangli Group. This isn’t a first for the developer, who recently saw another one of their project sites put up for sale as a result of separate foreclosure proceedings, as reported by STOREYS. Align Properties notably previously partnered with Coromandel Properties, whose own projects are now going through numerous foreclosure proceedings.

The subject site of Align’s latest foreclosure is 1485 Davie Street, at the intersection with Nicola Street, a few blocks away from Sunset Beach and English Bay. The site is currently occupied by a three-storey rental building that was originally constructed in 1946, according to BC Assessment, who values the site at $41,650,000.

Debt and Disposition

The foreclosure proceedings were initiated by Vancouver-based Bancorp Financial Services Inc. in September 2023 against the legal owner, 1034907 BC Ltd., and the beneficial owner, VK (Westend) Investment Limited Partnership. Other respondents include Align BC & King One (Westend) Investment Ltd. and King One Development Corp Ltd. Individual respondents listed consist of the guarantors of the mortgages, Zhong “John” Liang, Xue Fang Tan, and Xue Fen Tan.

Bancroft Financial Services and Align Properties signed a mortgage agreement in August 2021 for the principal amount of $32M, but Align Properties defaulted on the loan in less than two years, with Bancroft making a demand for payment on March 6, 2023.

The next month, the two parties reached a forbearance agreement that gave Align Properties until September 30, 2023 to repay the debt. As part of that forbearance agreement, Align Properties also had to pay their 2023 property taxes. But Align Properties was unable to do so, breaching the agreement, and the company currently owes $121,005.37 in property taxes and $6,211.97 in outstanding utilities costs to the City of Vancouver.

On February 7, 2024, the Supreme Court granted an order nisi that confirmed the outstanding debt at $37,422,937.42, with interest accumulating at a daily rate of $16,555.53.

In foreclosure proceedings, the order nisis also set a redemption date, by which the debtor has to pay the amount they owe in order to halt the foreclosure. The redemption period is six months, by default, but the period can be shortened if the petitioner can show that there is little to no evidence that the debtor can pay the amount owed. In the February order nisi, the court set the redemption period at one day and also immediately granted an order for conduct of sale, allowing Bancorp Financial to sell the property to recover the amount owed.

The Property

The 1485 Davie Street property is now listed for sale by Michael Buchan, Carey Buntain, Chris Wieser, Kevin Murray, Mitchell Knoepfel, and Megan Low of Avison Young with an asking price of $42M — just above the BC Assessment value.

The listing notes that the site is 25,941 sq. ft and carries the potential for residential development.

“The acquisition opportunity is well positioned for developers looking for prime development land in one of the most sought after locations in Vancouver, just steps from English Bay,” Avison Young notes.

1485 Davie Street in the West End of Vancouver.1485 Davie Street in the West End of Vancouver.(Avison Young)

The listing also notes that the site allows for high-rise residential development, as evident in Align Properties’ previously plans for the site. Align originally submitted their rezoning application in 2017, according to City of Vancouver records, and the plan was for a 21-storey tower with 128 strata condominiums and 51 social housing units.

The social housing component was included as replacement units for the existing rental building’s 51 units, with the units set to be transferred to the City of Vancouver. Last year, the Globe & Mailreported that many of the existing tenants had been relocated, but others had not, and that Align Properties was considering a full rental tower. The listing for 1485 Davie Street notes that “approximately” 27 units are vacant.

The listing also notes that the West End is one of the “strongest residential rental markets in Metro Vancouver with rents achieving over $6.00 per sq. ft.” It also says, however, that “condo pricing in the area has reached over $1,900 per sq. ft.”

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


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