How To Maximize Value in a Land Assembly

Est. Reading: 5 minutes

Land assemblies involve the selling of unique properties in a single transaction to maximize value in a situation that would otherwise not happen. They require longer time frames to complete and are very complex - mostly this is due to the alignment of ownership expectations and sourcing appropriate buyers for their project. Then the process of creating bid pressure to source the best price and terms for the sellers take place. In this article, we identify the three different groups involved and their unique considerations, in order to help guide you through the complex process of selling a Land Assembly in Vancouver.

Asset Class
August 16, 2023
Klein Commercial

When might ownership want to consider land assembly as an option for a group of owners?

The official community plan (OCP), neighborhood community plan (NCP) or zoning that may increase the density or use of the particular parcels of land. As buildings get near the end of their operating life, typically a strata or co-operative, the cash required by each owner to maintain in special or future capital investments are becoming costly compared to the property value.
A common need arises where all land owners know that things can only by achieved through a much larger, collective approach. If the land needs servicing (sewer, water, gas, electricity, and other services), where the cost of any individual parcel would be prohibitive and far too costly (I.e...the creation of a master community plan.

Let's Look at The Three Different Groups Involved and Their Considerations:

For Contractors/Developers

When you consider that 50% of all commercial transactions in the lower mainland have to do with land acquisition, you can understand that demand for parcels is high. That's why it is important to understand where to look for the right land and how to go about developing it for the right opportunities. Contractors and developers will generally have a set of questions.

Where are the best land sites in Greater Vancouver that offer the best "up-side" and profit areas given the cost of new land and construction?

  • How do I access your exclusive listings and "off-market" listings?
  • How long, on average, do your sites take to assemble?
  • Is the City receptive to land assemblies? How can we work with the City planning department to make the project a success?
  • Where does Klein Group Royal LePage Westside speculate the next OCP/NCP Change will occur?

Given the number of land transactions we complete, our brokerage is face to face with either the principals or senior acquisition managers almost every day. We track the type of land sites most desirable to them individually, under what circumstances they are able to play the highest price, and how we need to prepare opportunities to attract their attention. As these firms require new land to keep them active, this is the time when they have the highest capacity to pay well for land.

For Strata Councils

Strata corporations and councils are faced with the surprise of receiving offers from developers for the whole building or select units, and this often leads to questions. These questions often range around the issue about new OCP/NCP announcements. Remember that property owners in a land assembly are essentially shareholders or partners in a transaction. Once agreed, each most be fully and equally committed to realizing a successful conclusion. If one partner decides to renege or change direction in their commitment, it will have implications for the other parties, including themselves.

Land assembly sales can create a significant increase in value for their properties.  They can also cause stress, uncertainty and disappointment if not fully understood.  That's why it's important to work with a REALTOR who understands the process and knows how to approach developers while understanding the most effective way of ensuring proper representation for the owners.


Should you choose a Bill 40 wind up or land assembly?


Strata Dissolution under Bill 40 provision
  • Strata votes to dissolve strata.
  • A court process is required.
  • The sale includes standard terms for all owners.
  • Typical timeline to complete can vary significantly depending on complexity and whether there is any "in-fighting" that can push timelines and increase legal costs 12-25 (36) months.
  • Establishment of sale price through an accepted offer can be 9-20 months before closing, lessening real value to owners.
  • Owners take the risk of market changes.
  • Long timeline between accepting and closing.
  • Strata owners are responsible for all costs to dissolution but can be recovered from a developer, but not guaranteed.


Group Assembly
  • No upfront costs for appraisal and legal costs through court proceedings
  • Decisions made on consensus and individual owners agreement for their units
  • Good method for sale when all owners not in alignment
  • No dissolving of strata required, developer takes over strata and dissolves later.
  • No court proceedings required.
  • Customizable terms for each owner based on expectation brokerage sets with successful developer: (rent back options, buy back options, closing dates, allocation for improvements, etc.

For Sellers

Land in Vancouver is a finite commodity - and you have to ask yourself: is the land under your parcel, more valuable than the property itself? Some landlords have heard stories of people getting massive values from their properties that equate to almost double the value of the property as an apartment building. Sellers might have been approached by a realtor and told about a land assembly, or they heard rumors at a strata meeting. The general mentality might be to hold out - just realize that there is a lot of misinformation that exists and getting the right advice from the start of the process will help you make the right decision.

  • How do I know what price I should accept for my property?
  • How to create a competitive bid to maximize price?

Selling property requires the right mix of good preparation and a strong parcel of lots to maximize value. Our process ensures that owners will be both represented and independent and will make decisions based on well-vetted information and details. Aligning expectations with the land development process is the largest part of work that has to be done when attempting to maximize the value of a land assembly.

Other things that need to be considered:

  • How do we value density increases and city fees?
  • Have you recently upgraded your unit?
  • Have there been fewer transactions on my floor, or in my neighborhood, that have caused my assessed value to be lower than I would expect?
  • How much downward value on price do city density fees have on our property?


With over 20 years experience in land, redevelopment and assembly transaction, we have represented sellers in all major municipalities in the Lower Mainland and across Canada. Our global reach has seen us personally take investment opportunities to Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Dubai, and India in the last 24 months. With over $1.5 billion in sales and $450M in completed sales, we rank #1 in Vancouver for Royal LePage and #14 across Canada, in overall sales, at Royal LePage nationally.

Given the number of successfully completed land transactions, our brokerage knows what it takes to build the right value on a project. That's why making the right choice about aligning your project with a brokerage known for turning land assemblies into a success is essential.

Get your Land Assembly Report

Land Specialists

arrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram