Allied purchases the Dominion Building in Vancouver

A Toronto-based real estate investment business has purchased a heritage office building on the fringe of Gastown in downtown Vancouver, directly across from Victory Square.

Allied Properties Real Estate Investment Trust has purchased the Dominion Building at 207 West Hastings Street, which is located on the northwest corner of Cambie Street and West Hastings Street.

Built amid the city’s economic rise into Western Canada’s financial capital, and the development of the Downtown Eastside as the first Central Business District, the 53-metre-tall, 13-story structure was temporarily the tallest commercial building in the British Empire. The Dominion Trust, which subsequently became The Dominion Bank, was the first tenant.

The local government has designated the tower as a Class A heritage structure because of its flat-iron form, which is a result of its trapezoidal-shaped land.

“We’ll be a worthy successor owner to Army & Navy Properties in terms of both sensitivity and commitment to downtown Vancouver,” said Michael Emory, the president and CEO of Allied, in a statement.

“Because of its location, building attributes and operating history over many decades, the Dominion Building will enable us to accommodate smaller users who need more flexible lease terms. This will be particularly helpful as we reconfigure other buildings with larger floorplates to accommodate larger users with longer-term requirements.”

The structure has a total leasable floor area of approximately 80,000 square feet. The deal’s value was not disclosed, however it was assessed at $40.3 million by BC Assessment, including $34.1 million for the property and $6.2 million for the structure. The transaction is set to close next month.

Smaller businesses in the IT, advertising, median, and information sectors, according to Allied, could be suitable tenants. The Gastown version of Nuba restaurant is currently a tenant of the lower levels’ retail space.

Allied purchased The Landing office and retail property at 375 Water Street in Gastown from Whitecaps FC owner Greg Kerfoot last year, signalling its push into commercial real estate in Vancouver.

It also owns the historic Sun Tower at 128 West Pender Street, which recently received a major refurbishment, including the replacement of its dome roof with a new copper surface that will oxidise to green from its current reddish-brown colour.

After the pandemic’s impact last year caused the permanent closure of its stores, the Army and Navy recently suffered an upheaval. It is currently planning a massive mixed-use affordable housing, office, and retail makeover of its Downtown Eastside shop on West Cordova Street that will maintain the heritage front. The office buildings at 888 Dunsmuir Street and 625 Howe Street in downtown Vancouver were also sold off-market earlier this year.

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