Private land value originates in the public realm that surrounds it, therefore it is in the private investors interests to invest in and enhance the community around them.
Buildings are built to address human needs and that humans experience physical, social and spiritual needs in about equal measure every day, and in all aspects of each individual’s life. This, in turn is the basis of all economic activity and thereby of all economic value in real estate.
All value inherent in any building is an outgrowth of how well it supports and enhances the activities in which the inhabitants engage when they are in the building. The better it does that, on all three levels of human need, the more value human beings will place in the building.
All value in a building originates in the design process and is realized through the construction, therefore both need to be closely coordinated and successfully executed to create as valuable a building as possible.
Vancouver enjoys one of the most compelling natural settings of any city in the world, enjoying a strong and multi-sector economic foundation based on a high quality of life.
While beautiful, its natural setting is also one of its key constraints for expansion and development, as it is bounded to the north and east by mountains, and to the west by the Strait of Georgia, of the Pacific Ocean, and to the south by the Fraser River and the Canada - US border.
As the western epicenter for Canada’s business interest in the Pacific Rim trade area Vancouver is a Gateway City with a concentration of activity in the healthcare, entertainment, financial services, high technology and trade sectors. While its origins in a resource-based economy remain an important component of the overall economy for both the province and the city, Vancouver is also a corporate center, housing a robust mix of enterprises ranging from multi-national corporations to small technology startups. Another powerful economic contribution comes from Port Metro Vancouver which ranks first in North America in total foreign exports and second on the West Coast in total cargo volume.
The combination of a high quality of life, a well-educated workforce and the presence on the West Coast of other major tech hubs has led to both foreign and domestic technology, entertainment and design companies establishing themselves locally as well as a steady stream of innovative start-ups, many of which have blossomed into globally recognized enterprises.
Beginning with the establishment of Greenpeace in the early ‘70’s, Vancouver has translated the value it places in its natural setting into strong political support for sustainability. Accordingly, the City of Vancouver has adopted The Greenest City Action Plan, a mandate to become the greenest city in the world by 2030 which, among many other initiatives, requires all new construction of buildings after 2020 to be carbon neutral in operation or face entitlement dismissal.
When strong population growth, a diverse and positively evolving economy, a relative affluence even in Canadian terms, and distinctive natural beauty are combined with being part of a mature democratic country with a very strong tradition of stability and the rule of law Vancouver presents a powerfully attractive and resilient place to invest in real estate, as evidenced by Grosvenor Capital ranking it #2 on its list of Most Resilient Cities.
Clearly the concept of emergence can be effectively applied to the complex system that is any city. While of each of the drivers identified above as influencing Vancouver is known, the potential value enhancing impact of approaching each of them and their inter-relationship with a fresh set of eyes as part of a complex dynamic system will allow us to unlock hidden value in real estate of this dynamic city.