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Celebrating 25 years of growth in Vancouver


2008: Living Shangri Lai opens as Vancouver’s tallest – 62 storey – building.

Vancouver 1989: Buildex was first held in the Vancouver Hotel, shown at right near centre in photo

2009: The green-roofed Vancouver Convention Centre West opens. 2009: Canada Line transit system opens



Buildex 2003 under the “sails” at the Vancouver Convention Centre

MILESTONES Vancouver’s building history over 25 years 1989: Expo Lands Development on False Creek North Shore begins. 1989: Skytrain is extended to the Fraser Valley. 1993: Surrey becomes a city, now the fastest growing in the province.


Vancouver 2014: Buildex, with the Vancouver Real Estate Forum, is held at Vancouver Convention Centre West

1994: Redevelopment of Coal Harbour begins. 1994: Vancouver International Airport (YVR) begins expansion 1995: New Vancouver Public Library, modeled after the Coliseum, opens. 1995: GM Place (now Rogers Arena) opens 1998: Construction begins on the Wall Centre complex on Burrard Street. 2001: Former Vancouver Mayor Gordon Campbell elected BC Premier 2005: The Vancouver Agreement, to revitalize the city, receives the United Nations Public Service Award.


FEBRUARY 19 & 20, 2014


Will you be here? Everyone else will. Tradeshow-only access is free if you register online by February 5.

Mark Stephenson, vice-president Western Canada Division, Informa Canada

Real Estate Forum, itself celebrating its 20th anniversary. “Like Vancouver itself, Buildex and the Real Estate Forum have become more than we could have imagined and both continue to grow every year,” said Mark Stephenson vicepresident of Informa Canada Western Division, owners and producers of Buildex and the Vancouver Real Estate Forum. Buildex, which began as a commercial real estate event under ownership of the Building

20th ANNIVERSARY THE VANCOUVER REAL ESTATE FORUM This senior-level real estate conference sells FEBRUARY 20, 2014 out every year. VA N CO U V E R CO N V E N T I O N C E N T R E W E S T


Buildex 2008 (when it was co-located with Design Northwest & BC Construction Show)


he first Buildex in Vancouver, held 25 years ago this month, began just as the city started its transformation into a world-class metropolis. As that first Buildex welcomed delegates to its venue in the Hotel Vancouver, Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing completed the purchase of the former Expo ’86 lands. Within a year, Concord Pacific would begin the city’s largest urban redevelopment on the 150-hectare False Creek site and herald Vancouver’s first huge wave of Asian real estate investment. Under a visionary Vancouver Planning Department, the city had just launched its liveable city agenda aimed at creating a progressive centre for business, families and the environment. Within a decade, the reshaped city was named the best place in the world to live by the Economist magazine, a ranking it has held virtually ever since. In 1989, the average house price in Metro Vancouver was $150,000 and condominiums were just beginning their ascension to what would become the city’s characteristic home of the 21st century. Skytrain was up and running, but in 1989 the Skybridge across the Fraser River would bring the first rapid transit line into Surrey, now the fastest growing city in British Columbia. Twenty-five years ago also marked the opening salvo of an impressive eight-year cycle of downtown development capped with the completion of the Bentall 5 tower in 2007. Today, as at least eight new LEED-standard office towers and a score of condominium high-rises ascend across the skyline, one thing remains constant: Buildex, which is colocated this year with the annual Vancouver

Act today to secure your seat.

2009: The Lions Gate Bridge is outfitted with high-efficiency LED lights.

Buildex 2013: Modern Buildex now attracts more than 13,000 visitors to the largest real estate and construction trade show and conference in Western Canada

Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), is now the longest running, largest f lagship in the national Buildex brand and the biggest real estate trade show and conference in Western Canada. In many ways, Buildex and the Real Estate Forum both mirror the progress of their host city, remarked Stephenson, “During their history, the Forum and Buildex showguides read a like ‘who’s who’ of Vancouver’s developers, property management, construction, interior design, architectural and real estate industries,” Stephenson said. Buildex is where ideas and people have come together each year to learn about the latest in new building materials and systems and to hear, often for the first time, about groundbreaking trends and technology that eventually reshape real estate and the building industry. The Forum is famous for its focus on key issues and challenges facing investors, developers, asset managers, brokers and others active in every facet of commercial, industrial, residential and investment real estate. That legacy continues as Buildex 2014 and the highly-respected Vancouver Real Estate Forum together welcome an estimated 14,000 delegates, 425 exhibitors and in excess of 75 seminars led by more than 100 of Canada’s top real estate professionals and thought leaders in the stunning Vancouver Convention Centre West. The Vancouver Real Estate Forum and Buildex deliver two days of inspiring insights and updates on a vast range of topics, from the outlook of the real estate industry to green

buildings and the changing role of finance and foreign investment, all backdropped by hundreds of exhibits in the largest construction show of the year and Canada’s most spectacular waterfront. Highlights of this year’s landmark Buildex are a look at the home of the future, predictions on the commercial real estate industry, plus architectural and design panels detailing how new offices and retail space will match the demands of Generation X Y and Z. One not-to-miss event at the Vancouver Real Estate Forum: a closing round table discussion as Canada’s top real estate CEOs predict what is coming in the next 20 years. This month, Buildex comes full circle back to its original roots, remarked Paul LeBranche, executive vice-president of BOMA. The first Buildex was a trade show and conference with the theme “State of the Real Estate Industry’, he explained. “The state of today’s industry can be seen at Buildex,” LeBranche said, noting it remains the annual highlight of BOMA’s calendar, and the inclusion of the Vancouver Real Estate Forum makes it a true educational experience. Like Buildex, Vancouver is a much bigger, bolder and confident than it was in 1989. In celebration of Buildex’s 25th anniversary and the anniversary of the Vancouver Real Estate Forum, the following are 25 significant ‘city-shapers’ over the past quarter-century that changed the skyline, the landscape, the demographics, and how the world sees Metro Vancouver.


Photos: Informa Canada/ BIV

2009: Woodwards redevelopment opens in Gastown. 2010: Vancouver Winter Olympics and Paralympics Games are held. 2011: Vancouver average detached house price tops $1 million for the first time. 2011: Vancouver’s loss in 7th game of the Stanley Cup finals sparks a massive riot. 2012 – BC Place renovated and outfitted with the world’s largest retractable roof. 2013: Seven new office towers under construction in downtown Vancouver, the most in 20 years. 2013: The Trump International Hotel and Vancouver Tower begins construction downtown. 2013: Port Mann Bridge expansion opens. 2013: Construction of Skytrain’s Evergreen Rapid Transit extension to Coquitlam and Port Moody begins. 2013: Forty-kilometre South Fraser Perimeter Road opens. 2014: The revised Vancouver Building Bylaw is enacted, aimed at making the Vancouver the “greenest city in the world” by 2020.


WHAT MILESTONES DOES YOUR LIST INCLUDE? SHARE THEM! Join the conversation at: @BUILDEXshows @re_forums #BuildexVan #VREF14

Business in Vancouver Feature on BUILDEX 25 Years