Grosvenor, a privately held property owner and developer with a 70-year track record in North America, celebrated another successful year of continued growth, with the announcement of several new developments, acquisitions and financing transactions throughout 2022. The company also made new, key leadership appointments and continued to make headway on its critical ESG goals.
“Interest rate increases throughout 2022 created a rapidly changing environment for us to operate in. Fortunately, our conservative financial planning provided a solid base of long-term low rate debt which helped facilitate new development and acquisition activity early in the year,” said Steve O’Connell, CEO of Grosvenor’s North American property business. “As we navigate the potential recessionary environment ahead, it’s motivating to look back over our 70 years in North America to see the opportunities that we have generated in prior cycles at times like these.”
In Canada, Grosvenor’s development highlights for 2022 include securing approvals for a Metro Vancouver area development that will transform a 7.9-acre site in Burnaby into a uniquely pedestrian-friendly, low carbon mixed-use community with approximately 3,500 new homes and 200,000 sq. ft. of commercial space.
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In addition, Grosvenor acquired the Oakridge Transit Centre (OTC), one of Metro Vancouver’s largest undeveloped sites, with plans for a new 1.5 million square foot, mixed-use community. Also in 2022, Grosvenor received three Awards of Excellence from the Urban Development Institute for the West Vancouver development Grosvenor Ambleside in the categories of “Best Mixed Use Low Rise,” “Community Amenity” and the coveted “Best in Show” (Best Overall) award. The Vancouver development team was also awarded Best Customer Experience in the BC High Rise category during the Homeowner Mark of Excellence Awards, reflecting their commitment to customer care at The Pacific residential tower in downtown Vancouver.
“During 2022 we took the opportunity to focus on our long-term investment in the Metro Vancouver region with the advancement of our visionary pedestrian-focused, master-planned community in Brentwood and the acquisition of one of the most well-located and desirable undeveloped sites in Vancouver’s West Side,” said Marc Josephson, Senior Vice President, Development. “Both are exceptional, integrated developments that demonstrate our confidence in this region and a continuation of our 70-year history doing business here.”
As part of its commitment to hiring a best in class leadership team, Grosvenor appointed Ashleigh Simpson as Senior Vice President, Co-Investment to lead the company’s Structured Development Finance Program, named Emily Petrila Vice President, Legal Counsel & Corporate Secretary, and hired Cindy MacMillan as Vice President, Investment, in Vancouver. Grosvenor also appointed country specific construction leadership with the hires of Neil Belcher as Vice-President, Construction, U.S., and Woody O’Neill as Vice-President, Construction, Canada. In Vancouver, Michael Ward was promoted to Managing Director, Development, to oversee Grosvenor’s development activities in the Pacific Northwest and Marc Josephson, Senior Vice President, Development, has taken over leadership of the Vancouver Development program.
As part of its participation in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB®) Real Estate Assessment, Grosvenor increased its ratings in 2022 for both its Development and Investment activity, exceeding benchmark averages in Leadership, Policies, Reporting and Stakeholder Engagement and earning a 91/100 overall Development ranking, eleven points above industry peer average of 80.
Grosvenor was awarded Best Corporate Responsibility Program by NAIOP DC and continued to partner with and support numerous charitable organizations across North America, granting over $600,000 across Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Vancouver, BC.
Grosvenor has operated a diversified real estate business in North America since 1952. As of December 31, 2021, the Company had assets under management of USD$3.6bn, including 74 high-quality properties, and is executing on a USD $4.5bn* proprietary development pipeline across its active markets. Consistent with the firm’s farsighted approach to ownership and development, Grosvenor values long-term partnerships; across their nine active capital partners, the average relationship is 20 years.
Grosvenor signed the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment in 2019 and has publicly reported its annual consumption and reduction values for 15 years.