The Nanaimo market continues to see interest from residents and investors alike. With a number of notable developments happening in the Nanaimo area, the future looks bright for this mid-Island market.
The Bowers District development in North Nanaimo and the Sandstone development in South Nanaimo are set to bring approximately 5,000 new homes to an area that is ‘desperate for housing’, with a population of approximately 100,000. Seacliff’s Sandstone Master Plan project is focused on bringing new economic and business growth by creating a new industrial and employment node in South Nanaimo.
A new 50-year lease agreement has the Duke Point terminal berth set to be extended from 182 meters to 325 meters, in addition to the creation of new facilities and equipment. This development will pave the way for global shipping, after the Port of Nanaimo and DP World, an international shipping company, put pen to paper on the agreement. Efficiency of shipping between Nanaimo and Vancouver will be increased, in addition to the foundation being paved for international importing and exporting to and from Asia. This is yet another indicator of Nanaimo’s strong industrial market. With record-low supply, industrial land and rental rates will continue to see upward pressure.
Looking to downtown Nanaimo, there are a number of large residential developments in the pipeline. Notable groups include TELUS and partner Omicron, who are proposing a 197-unit rental building at 400 Fitzwilliam Street. The old Howard Johnson hotel lands, located at 1 Terminal, would bring 698 housing units, a hotel, and a park if the proposed mixed-use riverfront redevelopment gets approved. The lack of supply has drawn household names to this trade area, which continues to gain momentum, shown by Anthem’s Port Place, a well put together indoor/outdoor shopping centre, which has seen strong retail demand and currently has no vacancy.
Another exciting development has the Steiner Group currently renovating the iconic A&B Sound in the heart of Nanaimo. Located at 1 Commercial Street and coined ‘1 Commercial’, the project is set to bring a wide range of brand-new retail and office space to the downtown Nanaimo area. The development will attract residents and tourists with an open concept breezeway, allowing for a customer friendly experience and a great addition and improvement to the surrounding area. This project is located along the Commercial Street redesign area, set to undergo revitalization from the City of Nanaimo, bringing surface finishings, street trees, lighting, and public art, further establishing this area as a gathering place for downtown Nanaimo.
Nanaimo’s next Official Community Plan has been drafted and has a primary focus on urban growth and increased density for the region. With the amount of development and exciting new projects happening, Nanaimo’s future looks bright.
Written by Harry Jones for William Wright Commercial
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