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CanFirst expands Metro Vancouver industrial footprint

Toronto industrial fund steps in with $104.5 million acquisition of 11 buildings in Surrey and Abbotsford
Dozyn Dezyn Fraser Valley industrial portfolio covers three sites. | CanFirst

Toronto-based CanFirst Capital Management has made its first acquisition for its CanFirst Industrial Realty Fund VII with the purchase of an 11-building portfolio located in Surrey and Abbotsford, B.C.

The price for the Dozyn Dezyn properties, which cover three sites, was $104.5 million. The small-bay and mid-bay buildings are a combined 412,897 square feet and are completely leased.

The deal was announced on March 21.

The CanFirst Industrial Realty Fund VII closed in July 2020 after attracting $250.5 million, making it the largest fund ever raised by the company.

CanFirst purchased a portfolio in Surrey in 2019, its first acquisition there, and it’s now expanding its Metro Vancouver footprint, said CanFirst co-founder and chief executive officer Allan Perez.

“We like the metrics out there,” Perez told the Real Estate News Exchange. “The market is very, very tight and acquiring assets isn’t that easy to do. Similar to what we’re seeing here [in the Greater Toronto Area], there’s a very low vacancy rate and high demand.”

In fact, Metro Vancouver now has the lowest industrial vacancy rate in Canada, at 0.7 per cent, and the highest industrial lease rates in the country, according to first-quarter 2021 industry surveys.