The Chevron gas station at 1698 West Georgia just sold for $72 million and will be redeveloped as condos.
Now the Esso station at Burrard and Davie is up for sale, which means there soon may be no gas stations on Vancouver’s downtown peninsula.
The listing for 1205 Burrard St. by Collier’s International doesn’t include a price, but states the city’s West End plan allows a 300-foot tower on the site. That’s lower than the West Georgia site, where the new owner, Anthem Properties, can build up to 385 feet.
Property records show Imperial Oil sold 1205 Burrard to 7-Eleven Canada for $25,607,448 last September. It was assessed at $36,355,300 for 2017.
It was part of a package when 7-Eleven bought 148 Esso stations in B.C. and Alberta last year when Imperial Oil decided to sell off its retail operations.
7-Eleven has now put five of those properties up for sale, four in Vancouver (1205 Burrard, 1790 West 4th, 1398 West Broadway, 1795 West Broadway) and one in North Vancouver (2747 Mountain Highway).
No one from Collier’s or 7-Eleven Canada was available for comment. But Chevron’s Adrien Byrne said the sky high price of Vancouver real estate has oil companies assessing the value of their properties.
“(West Georgia) was one of the most productive stations in the Chevron network in B.C., but the real estate value really changed the economics of operating that as a gas station,” said Byrne. “It would make sense, given the potential of that site and the city planning, to sell that for redevelopment.”
The city seems to have anticipated the closure of the downtown gas stations, because it changed the zoning of their sites in the West End plan in 2013.
“I have no concerns as there are six gas stations just over the Burrard Bridge to the south and several more east of the downtown core,” said Vision councillor Raymond Louie.
“There are also at least three EV charging stations (for electric vehicles) in the area for those that have made the decision to switch to a cleaner source.”
But how much longer many of those gas stations will remain open is uncertain.
Chevron recently sold a station at 5505 Dunbar for $19.4 million, and has five more stations on the west side for sale, including 2783 West 4th, 3220 Cambie, 7525 Cambie, 8320 Oak, and 3692 West Broadway.
Chevron also put its Burnaby refinery up for sale last year. But Byrne said that even if all the stations for sale are closed, Chevron will still have 19 stations in the city, including a small station at 3rd and Burrard.
The company that purchased the Chevron station on West Georgia is local — Anthem’s vice-president is Kevin Falcon, the former provincial cabinet minister.
But the listing for the Esso station on Burrard seems to be aimed at an international buyer who may not be familiar with the downtown core.
“The property is located on the southwest corner of Burrard Street and Davie Street in Vancouver’s West End, and the gateway to Davie Village,” it reads.
“The West End is located on the Downtown Peninsula, bordering world-renowned Stanley Park, the popular English Bay Beach and the downtown business district.
“The downtown core is located minutes away, making this area an ideal home for office workers, as well as those who seek independence from their cars.”