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Bonnis Scraps Office Component Within Commodore Redev

Bonnis Properties has scrapped plans to build a 17-storey office tower as part of the Commodore Ballroom redevelopment in downtown Vancouver.

The office portion was to be the focal point of the redevelopment project, which Bonnis plans to continue the redevelopment albeit in a different form. Plans call for the famed ballroom and the Commodore bowling alley and pool hall beneath it to be preserved.

“There is just really no demand for large-use office space now,” Kerry Bonnis, whose family owns and runs Bonnis Properties, a Vancouver-based development company, told Postmedia.

“We are examining ways to repurpose it by looking at different uses.”

Kerry Bonnis cited pandemic-induced office market challenges and high financing costs as the primary cause of the company’s decision. He told Postmedia that prospective tenants showed interest in the project before the pandemic but the market is now going through a consolidation.

He also blasted city planners for delaying their review of the development proposal. Bonnis revised and resubmitted its development proposal after addressing concerns about the building’s height and massing, according to Postmedia.

“I will throw the city under the bus on this,” he told Postmedia. “If it had been faster, maybe we could have secured leases with tenants and been nearer to completion. This issue is not unique to this property, but it’s taking too long on projects of such magnitude.”

The property is located in the Granville Entertainment District. Kerry Bonnis criticized city planners, who have since departed from their positions, for approval delays. But he praised Mayor Ken Sim and his ABC Party-led council for trying to revitalize the area.

Pictured: Proposed Commodore Ballroom redevelopment

Rendering: Perkins & Will


Inside The Story

BonnisCity of Vancouver

About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

  • ◦Lease
  • ◦Development
  • ◦Financing
  • ◦Policy/Gov't
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