Less than two months after 1555 Robson Street was put up for sale through a court order, a buyer has been found and the sale has now been approved, according to filings in the Supreme Court of British Columbia obtained by STOREYS.

The property, which shares a rear lane with Westbank's high-profile Alberni by Kengo Kuma tower in the West End of Vancouver, became the subject of foreclosure proceedings initiated in June 2023 at the request of Pacifica Mortgage Investment Corporation, who claimed that the developer owed them $40M.

The developer of the project, who was planning a 28-storey residential tower called Robson & Cardero, was VKJ (Cardero) Investment LP and VKJ (Cardero) GP Ltd., who legally own the property through 1135952 BC Ltd. and operated as Vivagrand Developments before later rebranding as Align Properties.

In February, the Supreme Court granted applications for conduct of sale, allowing the applicant to sell the property in order to recover their debts, to both Pacifica and Genesis Mortgage Investment Corp, also known as Gentai Capital, who held a second-ranking mortgage against the property.

Genesis was allowed to make the initial attempt to find a buyer for the property, retaining Jim Szabo, Tony Quattrin, and Carter Kerzner of CBRE, who ultimately secured an agreement to sell the property on March 8.

The buyer is GWL Realty Advisors, which is the real estate investment arm of the Canada Life Assurance Company, and the purchase price is $58M. GWL Realty Advisors has subsequently assigned the purchase to the Canada Life Assurance Company and the Canada Life Insurance Company of Canada, who will hold an undivided interest of 80% and 20%, respectively.

The sale was approved by the Supreme Court on Thursday, March 28 and has now closed, according to CBRE.

1555 Robson Street

The vacant commercial building that currently occupies 1555 Robson Street.The vacant commercial building that currently occupies 1555 Robson Street. (CBRE)

The $58M sale price is likely a silver lining for many parties involved. As of July 2023, the amount Pacifica was owed had reached $41,614,760.99 and the amount Genesis was owed had reached $11,528,566.82 as of August — a total of over $53M with interest accumulating.

The final $58M sale price is also just slightly higher than BC Assessment's valuation of the property, $57,163,900.

The property is currently occupied by a vacant low-rise commercial building originally constructed in 1949. For the site, Align Properties was planning a 28-storey tower with 177 residential units, office space, and retail space. A portion of the the residential units were also set to be social housing units that were going to be acquired by the City of Vancouver.

It's unclear if GWL Realty Advisors and Canada Life plan on carrying through with this original plan. STOREYS reached out to GWL Realty Advisors to inquire about their plans for the site on Thursday, but has not received a response.

For Align Properties, this is the first of two properties that became the subject of foreclosure proceedings. The other property, 1485 Davie Street, was listed for sale in March by Avison Young.

Both properties are located in the West End, which is also home to 1045 Haro Street, where a 55-storey tower was planned before the property was placed under receivership in January. Earlier this month, 1045 Haro Street was also listed for sale.