When Intracorp first approached Ken and Barry about their self-storage facility in the Maywood area of Burnaby, it was for an outright purchase. In fact, they had been in
conversation for years. An agreement had been reached in 2008, but it occurred to Intracorp that there was much more potential to the site given its proximity to the Metrotown SkyTrain station. It would require more time and work to realize that potential though, because it meant convincing the City of Burnaby to substantially increase the height and density allowable on the site. Intracorp proposed that Ken and Barry become Joint Venture Partners in the project. It meant delaying the rewards, but it also meant potentially doubling their profit. But, it was less certain than an outright sale of their holding. Intracorp was convinced that with the right strategy and enough time, they could make MetroPlace a much more profitable endeavor for all.
Ken and Barry agreed to participate as partners whereby they would put in the land as their share of the equity. Intracorp would contribute cash and would begin petitioning the City of Burnaby for an increase in height and density. Intracorp involved an architect and cited examples from the Canadian Green Building Council about the environmental benefits of high density housing near transportation hubs. The City of Burnaby was in favor of this course of action and agreed to grant the increases that Intracorp sought. It was agreed that the project had to meet the ‘market test’ of achieving their pre-construction sales requirements before the existing selfstorage facility would be demolished. This meant that Ken and Barry could continue to enjoy the revenues from their business while Intracorp was designing, obtaining approvals and selling the condominiums at MetroPlace. It didn’t take long to pass the market test. MetroPlace sold out in less than a month.
By partnering instead of simply selling the land, Ken and Barry doubled their profit. They took more risk. It was less certain, but in the end it was the right decision. It’s a core Intracorp philosophy: Share the risk; share the reward.