Challenging deal lands $300m Richmond parcel

Keltic’s purchase of 27 acres took nearly 10 months to close as the biggest Metro Vancouver land transaction so far in 2021

Site is near No. 2 Road and River Road and adjacent to Richmond’s Olympic Oval sports complex | Sutton Group

Keltic Canada Development has paid more than $300 million for a 27-acre parcel in Richmond, considered the biggest land deal in Metro Vancouver so far this year.

The deal, which closed at 3 p.m. December 7, took 10 months to complete, according to broker Goran Bucan of Sutton Group, Vancouver.

It was a challenging transaction as it was never listed, Bucan said of the off-market sale that involved privately-owned land and municipal lands on a prime site that covers 5900 No. 2 Road, 6191, 6311 and 6751 Westminster Highway, and 6651 Elmbridge Way.  

The assembly is near the corner of No. 2 Road and River Road, adjacent to Richmond’s Olympic Oval sports complex. 

The primary seller was QuadReal Property Group, but the City of Richmond also owns part of the land and needed to approve the sale and future intentions of the new ownership, Bucan explained, which caused delays.

Also, at the last minute, the recent massive rainstorms that caused flooding across southern B.C. persuaded the insurance company underwriting the property to send investigators to walk the site – which is close to riverfront - and assure it was safe. They agreed it was.

“The deal died three times and I died three times with it,” Bucan joked.

Keltic’s development plans for the site are significant. Currently, the property is occupied by light industrial and commercial tenants. Keltic plans to create a multi-use destination including residential, commercial and industrial spaces.

Twenty-three per cent of the land, or 6.4 acres, will be developed into green space and contributed back to the city for community use, according to the company.

“The acquisition of this piece of land presents us with an opportunity to work with the City of Richmond and the public to design and develop their dream, and to create something that will have a positive and lasting impact on this community for generations to come,” said Rachel Lei, managing director of Keltic Development, in a statement.

Keltic is a 100 per cent Canadian-owned, diversified real estate development company headquartered in Vancouver.