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Aoyuan Property Group of Hong Kong went international for the first time with a development in Sydney, Australia in 2015. Now there are projects planned for Vancouver and Toronto.

  The Newtonbrook Plaza in Toronto will soon be demolished to make way for a mixed-use residential, office and retail community by Aoyuan Property Group.

The Newtonbrook Plaza in Toronto will soon be demolished to make way for a mixed-use residential, office and retail community by Aoyuan Property Group. (Image courtesy Aoyuan)

"It seemed like a logical extension of the Sydney market, which is similar in many ways," says Aoyuan Property Holdings (Canada) Ltd. Eastern Canada senior vice president of development Vince Santino. "They are very stable and safe markets, with growth potential."

The Hong Kong-based listed company (19459007) made its first acquisition in Vancouver last March and now has two properties in Metro Vancouver.

Granville Project at the intersection of Granville Street and 7th Avenue in the high-end residential area Fairview, consists of eight floors and has 41 suites.

"We will be bringing this year to the market," said Santino. "The time and date have yet to be confirmed."

The much larger Aoyuan Dawson Street at the intersection of Willingdon Avenue and Dawson Street in the North Burnaby neighborhood of Brentwood, will be designed and planned by IBI Group in collaboration with PWL Landscape Architects Inc. It will be developed in four phases in 1,400 blocks of flats, 50 terraced houses and a combination of commercial and retail units.

Newtonbrook Plaza project in Toronto

In Toronto, Aoyuan acquired an investment of $ 201 million at 5799 to 5915 Yonge St. and 46-47 Averill Cr. from Silvercore Inc. in September, the was the 10th largest commercial property transaction for 2017 in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). It will be the largest planned community of the company in Canada.

Aoyuan is redeveloping the 8.6-hectare site that currently includes an 11-storey office building, the Newtonbrook Plaza shopping center and a parking lot. The office building on the south side of the building will be demolished together with the shopping center to accommodate the first phase. A Food Basics store on the north side will be demolished later in the development process.

Plans are for a community of 1.7 million square feet that will include five apartments with residential towers, terraced houses, 100,000 square feet of office, 80,000 square feet of retail, childcare and a community center. Part of the country will be transformed into a park and playground. The new community will be 100 meters away from the Finch metro and GO Transit stations.

"The development will take place in three phases," said Santino. "The first phase has two towers on a podium, with shops on the level and office above the store."

"We look at about 800 residential units, about 40,000 square feet of office and about 35,000 square feet of retail stores in rank."

A range of suit sizes

Sizes range from just under 500 square feet for units with one bedroom to approximately 1300 square feet for three-bedroom suites. The terraced houses are in the range of 1,200 to 1,300 square feet.

"The meat of the program is likely to be a bedroom with two bedrooms plus two bedrooms, but we are still working on those details," said Santino.

Santino said it is too early to talk about potential tenants of offices or shops, but he would like to have a supermarket in the first phase.

The site was the subject of a Ontario City Council . Aoyuan is now working with the city [Toronto9000] to finalize plans and approvals.

"They know how important this site will be to them," said Santino. "We want to know for sure what we bring to the market and what we ultimately build is a win-win for everyone."

Santino is optimistic Aoyuan can launch a sales program later this year and go into business in 2019. He expects the first phase to take a little more than two years to reach occupancy rate once construction starts.

Aoyuan & # 39; s future Canadian plans

Aoyuan was founded in 1996 and was the first developer in China to integrate residential real estate with sports and leisure facilities. It has a land bank of more than 200 million square feet and 100 residential and commercial properties in more than 30 cities in China, Australia and Canada.

The company opened its office in downtown Toronto, which has 10 employees, but is expected to continue growing last summer. Aoyuan wants to capture its roots and establish its brand name in Vancouver and Toronto before considering a move to other Canadian cities.

"The past six months have been busy, but we are on the right track and continue to search for more sites," said Santino.

"We are very interested in high-rise sites as we can find them in the 416, but even sites in the 905 and GTA that are very well predisposed and close to transit and where municipalities support more density."

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