Huge Burnaby condo development sold by troubled China Aoyuan for $215m

Company was facing a cash crunch due to a debt crackdown, leading to a rare sale of a project so far into the city approval process

The Grove is a major development on eight acres of land planned between Willingdon and Alpha avenues and Dawson and Alaska streets in Brentwood Town Centre, just one block away from the SkyTrain station. Four phases are planned with an estimate 2,400 units eventually built if all phases are approved by the city | Photo: China Aoyuan

A major Burnaby condo development in the Brentwood area that’s been working its way through the city’s approvals process has been sold to another developer – a rare occurrence in a hot real estate market.

China Aoyuan – which has been struggling as China has placed debt ceilings on companies, leaving those companies short of cash – has sold The Grove project to Anthem Properties Group for $215 million, according to Bloomberg Tax.

The Grove is a major development on eight acres of land planned between Willingdon and Alpha avenues and Dawson and Alaska streets in the Brentwood town centre, just one block away from the SkyTrain station. Four phases are planned with an estimated 2,400 units eventually built if all phases are approved by the city.

Phase 1 of the development involves a space of roughly 9,800 square metres, mostly fronting onto Dawson Street. Two market strata 34- and 41-storey highrises are planned on top of two storeys of commercial use, and a six-storey non-market rental building is planned on top of a one-storey retail base that will run along Dawson Street, turning onto Willingdon Avenue.

That will bring a total of 868 market strata units and 80 non-market units with rents at 20% below the median rate in the neighbourhood, as measured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

It will also bring the first section of a new road, an extension of Juneau Street, which will dissect the city block. The thoroughfare, connecting Willingdon and Alpha avenues, is expected to begin construction in Phase 1 of The Grove, with completion set for Phase 2.

Once Phase 2 is completed, the buildings constructed in Phase 1 will also have a view of a new city park along the north side of Juneau Street. The second phase is also proposed to include a mixed commercial and residential building, while Phase 3 includes three residential buildings. Two more residential buildings are planned for the fourth and final phase.

The site is currently occupied by warehouse and industrial properties, with two strip malls along Dawson Street. The surrounding area includes in-progress and completed developments, including highrises, along with industrial and warehouse properties.

Burnaby Now