The Agricultural Land Commission’s recent decision denying the City of Abbotsford’s request to remove almost 200 hectares from the agricultural land reserve for industrial development “tightens the vise” on companies already struggling to find space.
“They’ll have to get creative,” said Kyle Dodman, a commercial broker with Frontline Real Estate Services who specializes in industrial sales and leasing in the Fraser Valley.
“There’s a common misconception that Abbotsford has these large parcels of available land when there’s really only a handful left,” he explained. “It would have been nice to see the application (to the ALC) go through.”
The Fraser Valley’s wide open spaces have long been seen as a safety net to address Metro Vancouver’s dwindling supply of industrial space. But rapid growth, coupled with the provincial government’s promise to review and revitalize the agricultural land reserve, have some worried industry is being forgotten.
Between 2016 and 2017, Metro Vancouver’s industrial availability rate dropped from 3.6 per cent to a record low of 2.3 per cent, the second lowest in North America, according to a report published in February by the international real estate and investment firm CBRE.
“We are at a critical stage and we need to find industrial areas for these companies,” VP of Industrial Chris MacCauley said in a news release. “It used to be that when companies couldn’t find space in Vancouver, they moved to the valley. But now the valley doesn’t have much inventory left either … So there’s a threat we’re going to see companies relocating out of province or it will limit their growth potential.”
The report found that the two municipalities with the largest industrial inventories also had two of the lowest availability rates — Richmond at two per cent and Surrey at 1.3 per cent. Lease rates …read more
Source:: Vancouver Sun