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Canada’s first large-scale multi-storey distribution centre planned for Burnaby


Multi-storey industrial distribution facility.

Rendering by Oxford Properties Group.

Oxford Properties Group plans to develop Canada’s first large-bay multi-level industrial property at Riverbend Business Park in Burnaby, B.C., transforming a former brownfield site.

The business park, previously the site of a paperboard milling operation and a landfill, offers 1.35 million sf of space. The two-level industrial facility, a distribution centre, will be 707,000 sf and its second storey will be accessible to full-size transport trailers via heated ramp (see rendering above). An amenity pier (see rendering below) will stretch out into the Fraser River and new walking trails will connect with an existing public network.

The plan follows the emergence of multi-storey industrial facilities in other supply-constrained markets, including Seattle, Wash., San Francisco, Calif., and New York, N.Y., which are helping meet an increased need for supply chains and logistics to support e-commerce.

“Greater Vancouver is one of the tightest industrial markets in the world,” says Jeff Miller, Oxford’s head of industrial properties. “Space for businesses that service the region—be it through manufacturing, logistics or e-commerce—is in critically short supply. We have studied innovative industrial projects from across the globe to inform our plan. We can add density to the business park without the need to encroach on greenfield or agricultural land.”

Comprising a 437,000-sf ground floor with 32-ft clear heights and a 270,000-sf second storey with 28-ft clear heights and a 130-ft truck court, the facility is planned for completion in 2022 and would become the largest industrial property available in Greater Vancouver. A single customer could occupy the contiguous space or it could be split up to accommodate tenant areas as small as 70,000 sf.

“We are excited to bring the first modern multi-storey industrial facility to Canada,” says Rob Wheler, Oxford’s vice-president (VP) of development.

The real estate developer is now in the process obtaining the required planning and permitting and has begun initial site preparation work.

Amenity pier

Rendering by Oxford Properties Group.