BC Tree Fruits is moving ahead with the consolidation of facilities and the disposition of surplus assets as it continues to strengthen its financial position.
The co-op listed its Kelowna warehouse at 858 Ellis Street with Kelowna brokerage HM Commercial for $20 million on April 1.
“Roanoke no longer fits our portfolio,” says BC Tree fruits CEO Warren Sarafinchan. “As part of our strategic plan, we will sell the property and use the proceeds to pay down debt and for future investments.”
The four-acre site is currently zoned industrial but the city is drafting plans for the district, with HM Commercial noting “strong potential for the north end to be part of a master planned waterfront community.”
The site’s redevelopment potential underpins the list price. While the existing warehouse is 89,000 square feet, the site has a maximum buildable area of 516,186 square feet. This puts the list price at $38.75 per buildable square foot. With the prospect of residential zoning providing greater density, the list cost per square foot declines.
HM Commercial is receiving sealed offers on the property until noon on April 21. Offers will then be evaluated and discussions will proceed from there. HM Commercial did not respond to a request for comment about how many prospective buyers have jumped into action.
HM Commercial previously handled the sale of BC Tree Fruits’ headquarters in downtown Kelowna. The two-storey property sold to an unnamed buyer in December for $7.5-million, well above the list price of $5.2-million. Current zoning allows for a 19-storey tower, and the sale points to the level of interest such properties command.
Meanwhile, Sarafinchan says the co-op’s Summerland and Keremeos facilities will be coming back online this year after sitting idle last year.
“Both Summerland and Keremeos are fully functional,” he says.
with files from Tom Walker