It was 1945 when a 19-year-old Keith Beedie and his partner bought their first 33-ft. lot in Marpole. They paid the City of Vancouver $190, drew up plans for their new construction workshop over the weekend, and by Monday morning, all the necessary permits and approvals from City Hall were in place. The deal was sealed with a handshake and a new business venture begun.
By 1954, the fledgling company had developed a reputation for excellence and quality, and Beedie Construction was born. Today, with over six decades of expertise behind them, this second generation, family owned and operated company is undergoing yet another metamorphosis.
Exciting New Vistas
After specializing in the design, construction, and management of industrial buildings throughout Metro Vancouver and Calgary, while also quietly participating behind the scenes on some of Vancouver’s most prestigious multi-family developments, the company’s newest division, Beedie Living, will focus on innovative, large-scale residential and mixed-use projects. And they’re already attracting plenty of attention.
Beedie Living’s debut highrise, The Austin, was greeted with critical acclaim and was 60 per cent sold within days of opening. “There’s been virtually no new development in this part of Coquitlam for decades, so pent up demand was huge,” says Houtan Rafii, Beedie Living’s Vice President of Residential Development. But he adds it’s Beedie’s reputation that was a deciding factor for many purchasers.
And there’s more excitement coming. In what Rafii describes as “an urban response to a suburban mall,” Beedie Living has partnered with Anthem Properties to reinvent the ageing Station Square Mall in Metrotown. Ultimately, the 12-acre site will be transformed into a pedestrian-oriented urban village with five, elegant towers adding more than 1.6 million sq. ft. of residential living plus 330,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 150,000 of office space.
Still, Rafii says, it’s Fraser Mills that will be the company’s most ambitious project to date. Located adjacent to the Fraser River on the corner of Coquitlam that touches Burnaby and New Westminster, during the 1800s this property was the location of the largest working mill in the entire British Empire. “This site is steeped in history, and our plans will honour that unique heritage while introducing forward thinking planning and architectural design in a sustainable mixed-use community,” Rafii says.
Plans include four million sq. ft. of residential including many highrise towers, 275,000 sq. ft. of commercial/retail, and over 75,000 sq. ft. of public amenities. “The first phase will be a 21-storey residential tower, two midrise buildings, a community plaza, a stand alone restaurant, and a public pier that will be truly iconic,” Rafii says as he reveals a rendering of a circular, floating structure unlike anything seen in the Lower Mainland to date.
“It’s not enough to be good, we want to be exceptional.”
A Family Tradition of Excellence
Although Keith Beedie remains hands-on and still comes into the office every day, his son Ryan Beedie is now president after being appointed to the position in 2001. Both father and son proudly carry on the company’s commitment to under promise and over deliver. “My father had two deep-rooted principles when he founded Beedie Development Group,” Ryan explains. “Build exceptional, thoughtfully designed projects and develop lasting relationships with our customers.”
“As a company, we’ve always been motivated to be a leader,” Rafii adds. “It’s not enough to be good, we want to be exceptional. We know what it takes to be successful, and we are measured about taking the appropriate steps at the appropriate time.” He smiles. “And we still believe in the value of a handshake.”