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David Podmore has announced his retirement after building Concert Properties, effective June 30, 2024.

CRE Legend Podmore Announces Retirement

Canadian commercial real estate icon David Podmore is calling it a career.

Podmore has announced his retirement, effective June 30, from his post as Chair of Vancouver-based Concert Properties.

Podmore’s retirement will coincide with his 75th birthday and the 35th anniversary of the multi-pronged real estate investment, management and development company that he and the late Jack Poole co-founded in 1989 with an initial investment of $27.4 million.

The company was originally known as VLC Properties and started up as a public-private-pension venture with joint ownership from the province, City of Vancouver, two Canadian banks, 26 individuals and 26 pension funds.

The firm set out with the goal of developing multi-residential rental housing on public lands leased over the long term in Vancouver and then entered the condominium market. One of its first major projects was the development of the 28-acre Collingwood Village in east Vancouver, a thriving neighbourhood that was transformed through the construction of a station along the first SkyTrain line (Expo.)

Collingwood, once a bastion of single-family homes, is now a prototype for high-density living and a hub of commercial real estate development activity. A number of large mixed-use projects are currently under construction.

Over the years, Podmore guided the company through more name changes, establishing Concert as a major brand. He also oversaw an ownership transition whereby Concert became wholly owned by union and management pension funds.

Today, the company operates a multitude of entities in diverse real estate sectors, including industrial and seniors housing, and holds $9 billion in assets across the country.

Concert’s accomplishments include the construction of 13,800 homes. Of those, 1,450 are assured and affordable units. Concert also has 9,000 more multi-residential homes in the pipeline, and the company manages 13 million square feet of other properties.

Through its Concert Infrastructure business, the company also owns, manages and develops a number of infrastructure assets in partnership with governments across Canada.

Podmore, who served stints as president and CEO around his chair role, has also participated in many public projects.

A planner by profession, the Vancouver native planned Edmonton development projects while based in the Alberta capital early in his career.

Before launching Concert, he helped create the master plan for 225 acres of Vancouver’s Expo ’86 lands, setting the stage for the long-term development of False Creek. Together with Poole, the Vancouver Olympic bid committee chair, he helped the city earn the International Olympic Committee’s approval to host the 2010 Games.

While chairing the provincially owned B.C. Pavilion Corporation (PavCo), Podmore oversaw the refurbishment of B.C. Place Stadium following the Vancouver Olympics. His primary mission was to oversee the installation of a new retractable roof after the original permanent teflon cover was torn during a windstorm.

The renovation project was completed at a cost of $514 million, approximately $49 million under budget. While leading PavCo, he also oversaw the completion of the Vancouver Convention Centre expansion, namely the construction of the West building, after the project had run into hundreds of million dollars in cost overruns before his tenure began.

The facility is a glowing example of sustainable development attributes and principles, attracting numerous international conventions annually.

While steering Concert, he held fast to the principle of only using skilled construction union labour as the company’s projects earned numerous awards.

He and Concert’s employees have also supported the St. James Hospice in east Vancouver and the development of the Burn Fund Centre. Located on Main Street, the non-profit Burn Fund Centre provides a home away from home for burn and trauma survivors, firefighters and their families when they must travel to Vancouver for medical treatment.

His volunteer activities have included chairing the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Podmore will also step down as chair of the Concert Infrastructure Fund, which has a portfolio capitalization of $3.3 billion. He will assume an advisory role as chair emeritus, supporting the board and Christine Bergeron, who succeeded him as president and CEO in September 2023.

“I am confident that now is the time to step aside and entrust the company’s continued success to our highly qualified and knowledgeable board of directors, and the experienced leadership team led by Christine [Bergeron],” said Podmore in a news release.

Podmore expressed gratitude to the people with whom he has worked over the past 35 years.

“It has been the honour and privilege of my life to lead Concert,” he said. “I will leave knowing my partner Jack [Poole] would have been proud to see all that we have accomplished.”

Photo: Courtesy of Concert Properties


Inside The Story

David PodmoreConcert Properties

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.

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