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Hot market fuels rise of Abbotsford's tallest tower

Abbotsford is experiencing a surge in development in its residential, industrial and agricultural sectors and work is beginning on what developers say will be the tallest residential tower between Surrey and Calgary.  


Abbotsford-based Quantum Properties is putting up the 26-storey mixed-use tower, named Mahogany at Mill Lake, at Gladwin Road and Bevan Avenue. The condo tower will also have 30,000 square feet of commercial space on the first three floors, including a medical clinic, pharmacy and restaurant, said Diane Delves, the firm’s president and CEO.

 

“Our buyers are basically the down-sizers,” she said in an interview last week. “The boomers who are cashing out of their valuable houses … so they can free up some time to travel.” She said the tower will stand 80 metres tall, making it the tallest residential building between Surrey and Calgary. In Kelowna, the Landmark VI office tower stands 81 metres, and the Sky at Waterscapes residential tower reaches 78 metres, according to SkyscaperPage.com.

 

More people are coming to Abbotsford seeking lower land costs and business opportunities, she said. “Abbotsford is not a bedroom community,” Delves said. “About 70 per cent of the people live and work here.” She said her company operates about 150 other residential units in the city. “We count our vacancies at like, one day a month,” she said. “It’s an incredibly tight market here.” The tower is expected to be completed in 2018. “We’re starting to go up,” she said. “The crane just arrived so we’ll start pouring concrete imminently.”

 

Abbotsford is experiencing significant increases in development projects as well as inquiries by developers, said Wendy Dupley, Abbotsford’s director of economic development.

 

“Our numbers are showing significant increases,” she said. “Really starting from fall of last year.” Construction value in Abbotsford in the first quarter of this year totalled $52.8 million across all types — agricultural, commercial, industrial and residential. That’s up $12.4 million dollars from the same period last year, according to the city’s first-quarter development report.


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