In the first half of 2017 alone, total commercial building permits in New Westminster amounted to $6 million, and more commercial building construction is incoming, according to Blair Fryer, the Royal City’s communications and economic development manager.
“Much of the commercial under construction is ground-level shopping at the bottom of mixed use towers, which are dominated by the residential component,” Fryer told Western Investor.
Fryer stated that Westminster Toyota has already submitted applications to build a new dealership in Queensborough, with the old Keg building being renovated into new Kelly O’Bryan’s/Carlos O’Bryan’s location. Applications for a new banquet hall and a new entertainment complex under the banner of Extreme Air Park are also pending.
Other upcoming projects involve a $2 million application to expand a liquor store and increase commercial space, along with a five residential units, on Front Street; as well as a mixed-use development that will add nearly 11,000 square feet of retail and offices with two new residential buildings.
One notable transaction was the sale of the 8-storey Anvil Centre office tower in downtown New Westminster. Gambling firm Evolution Gaming is set to take one floor of the building for its new 16,000-square-foot studio that will house 10 live tables for blackjack, two types of baccarat, and two types of roulette. Evolution Gaming’s operation is projected to create 170 jobs, according to Roger Leggett, vice-president of leasing agency Cushman & Wakefield.
This asset class is one of the strongest performers in the national commercial market
B.C. economy to slow down, but real estate expected to maintain activity levels
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The recent influx of tenants and investors in New Westminster’s commercial properties might be a good indicator of the city’s prospects as a strong contributor to the national market.