The Crystal Development

Construction of The Crystal has recently been successfully completed. The project was one of the largest, mixed-use, strata-titled developments in Canada, having a value in excess of $200,000,000. It encompasses almost an entire city block located in Burnaby's thriving Metrotown town centre, linked by Skytrain rapid transit to Vancouver's downtown core.

The Crystal consists of a 283 room Hilton Hotel with 10,000 square feet of convention space; a 25 storey residential tower and low-rise building containing 218 residential condominium units; a retail complex comprised of 203 retail shops, 28 food court units and 38 market stalls; an office building containing 68 strata-titled office units; a 12,000 square foot cultural centre; a community office containing an RCMP station and a four-level underground parkade containing over 1,300 parking stalls. In all, The Crystal comprises about 750,000 square feet of building area contained within seven air-space parcels and took over three years to develop.

The Crystal was developed by a joint venture comprised of Amara International Investment Corp., TYBA Group Inc. and Dong Ah Construction Industrial Co. Ltd. The principal of Amara, Stanley Kwok, oversaw the development of the former Expo 86 site in downtown Vancouver. TYBA Group is chaired by Felix Ts'o, who has developed numerous substantial real estate projects in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Dong Ah is one of South Korea's largest public companies and has an international reputation in the construction industry.

Due to the uniqueness of this real estate project, the legal work involved was challenging and often necessitated taking novel approaches to dealing with the developer's concerns. Koffman Kalef acted as lead counsel on this project. Stanley Wong was initially retained to assemble and acquire the multiple properties comprising the development site. Mr. Wong has spent the last three years as the principal lawyer responsible for overseeing and co-ordinating the project. Douglas A. Side finalized the joint venture arrangements. David S. Pedlow advised on tax and structuring matters. Mr. Wong negotiated the construction loan credit agreement. Patrick J. Julian, Sharon Fugman and Leslie A. Tucker negotiated with the City of Burnaby on development matters and prepared the complex easement and ancillary agreements. Mr. Julian was also instrumental in negotiating the lease with the retail mall's anchor tenant, HSBC Bank Canada. The strata lot disclosure documents and closings were handled by Mr. Wong, Ms. Fugoran, and Bing Ho.
Bank of Nova Scotia provided the construction financing. BNS was represented by Michael S. Allen while Mr. Allen was with Stikeman Elliott (now with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin). The construction tendering and construction contracts were handled by Bryan S. Shapiro of Shapiro Hankinson. The hotel management negotiations with the Hilton Hotel were conducted by Peter A. Pagnan of McCarthy Tétrault.