Meet the real estate team behind B.C.’s tech unicorns
The High Technology Facilities Group (The HTFG) is a specialty practice group within CBRE that is built to support the unique commercial real estate needs of technology companies. Formed in 1994, the team consisting of Blair Quinn, Kevin Nelson, Alain Rivere, Andre Alie Day, Sophie Heywood and Vicky Xing have had a hand in the rise and formation of the tech industry in Vancouver for 28 years.
As part of the fabric of the tech community in Vancouver, The HTFG has been a proud partner with Acetech for 20+ years, participating in 20+ Whistler Summits, 50+ networking and educational events and decades of our ever popular bi-annual Wine Events! The Acetech x CBRE partnership has allowed them to understand the tech community and its leaders, and forge long-lasting relationships based on trust and commitment. They have formed early relationships with tech companies both small and large through Acetech, which have helped The HTFG become the go-to commercial real estate advisory team.
The HTFG goes beyond finding commercial space to support companies that make up the fabric of Vancouver’s tech industry. They are directly building B.C.’s tech ecosystem by helping companies find the optimal workspace for their unique needs to drive culture and attract and retain top talent. Companies leverage our real estate expertise and CBRE’s global platform to take their company to the next level.
The new wave of flexible and hybrid work has created a significant shift in how leaders are looking at space. The HTFG continue to be the top industry thought leaders in the commercial real estate space, keeping tech leaders informed on the newest Workplace Strategies, lease management, and are at the forefront of seizing opportunities. To do so, our team represents the culmination of over 80 years of combined expertise, vision, and passion. This gives us the distinct advantage to support tech companies on their quest for work environments that meet today’s needs while planning for the future.
They work with a diverse set of companies and industries; each company has a unique identity, its own journey, and a distinct set of requirements. The HTFG can take these unique requirements and leverage their tailored process and the CBRE platform to uncover the best (on and off) market opportunities for clients. They go above and beyond, and make sure no stone is left unturned; finding opportunities where others aren’t looking. In simple terms, these services include: leasing, subleasing, relocations, renewals, purchase or sale requirements and custom build-to-suits.
The HTFG has an impressive client roster, including local tech stars such as Trulioo, Visier, Traction On Demand, Xenon, Svante … and many more.
Hootsuite became an HTFG client when they needed their first space, having started in Yaletown with 6 people. Their ensuing exponential growth paired with the coveted Hootsuite culture required creative space solutions in order to take them from 50 people to 600+ in a matter of 4 years, including offices overseas. The HTFG procured multiple buildings in the Mt. Pleasant neighbhourhood, and as early entrants, this helped set the stage for the tech and innovation hub this area has become. The various space requirements landed Hootsuite in 3 buildings all with unique features which meshed well with the creative nature of Hootsuite’s business, all within 1 block from each other.
As well, their client Avigilon had a dynamic journey; moving into the downtown core with expansion plans they landed at 858 Beatty St, (now home to Microsoft), they asked The HTFG to find them a 100,000 SF office building to purchase downtown. This is a nearly impossible order, considering downtown Vancouver has very limited purchase opportunities and the fact no availabilities of that size existed at the time. Telus had recently moved to their new Telus Tower, so the hidden solution was found in this off-market building previously owned by the communications company. Avigilon purchased the building, renovated it, and two years later completed a sale-leaseback which included a 10-year lease and sale of the building for a handsome 8-figure profit.
It doesn’t end there; over the years The HTFG has completed over 2,700 transactions, representing over 30 million SF, ranging from 600 SF to 300,000 SF leases. They are a unique team of 6 who each take a personal approach for the success of every client, and for the success of the tech sector as a whole.
As leaders in sourcing inspired and exceptional tech workspace environments, The HTFG at CBRE has been Vancouver’s only tenant representation team that focuses exclusively on commercial real estate solutions for BC’s technology sector. Through their core values of dedication, creativity and trust, their refined process and services has earned them a client list that is unmatched in the industry.
For a more complete overview of their team, and services, check out their website.
For 30 years Acetech has helped CEOs of technology companies become better leaders through peer roundtables, executive training, and an annual Leadership Summit.
Our passion is supporting tech leaders and their teams to lead better, grow faster and get connected. Acetech has thrived over the last 3 decades because of the passion of a group of committed leaders who care about the tech community and economy, and know what it takes to succeed.
Today, Acetech continues to be a premier not-for-profit organization created by leaders for the advancement of growing tech companies. When you join Acetech you become a member of one of the most connected, supportive and high-performing communities of tech leaders.
"I participated in my first meeting as a member of an Acetech roundtable this month. I can't speak highly enough about the benefits of the program. I would strongly recommend that any CEO looking to level up their corporate strategy consider an Acetech membership." ~ Kevin Dagenais, CEO at Cascadia Scientific.
If you are the leader of a technology company and want to find out more about becoming a member, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We define a technology company as any company generating intellectual property that would qualify for the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (“IRAP”) and/or Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credits (“SR&ED”).
As a not-for-profit organization, we can offer all of these membership benefits at an extremely competitive annual rate.