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November 2017

In this issue

Dec 6, 2017
How Vancouver's industrial land crunch is pushing businesses out of town
Kerry Gold

Peter Spotzl runs a small metal fabricating business in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Since 2016, he’s watched the tax bill for his leased property surge by a whopping $20,000. Spotzl says he now pays $83,000 in taxes annually, thanks to the escalating assessed value of the 8,000-square-foot shop—from $5.4 million to $7.6 million in the past year alone.Metal & Wood...

Dec 4, 2017
Lunch with property developer Kevin Cheung
Lucy Hyslop

As part of a so-called astronaut family, property developer Kevin Cheung opens up about being raised in Vancouver while his father remained in China.The 29-year-old’s family reunited only once or twice a year after he immigrated to Canada as a toddler with his mother, Helen, who studied at McGill University and worked in the Seattle tech industry until the pair...

Nov 29, 2017
Weekend Warrior: Biotech entrepreneur Andre Marziali likes his cars built for speed
as told to Felicity Stone

I’ve always enjoyed cars. I follow Formula One, so I’m not surprised I like racing: the adrenaline side of it, and it’s such a surprisingly physical but also very, very mental sport. The level of focus required is incredible. It’s super satisfying when you get it right. And maybe not super surprising, given that I’m an engineer, developing the car...

Nov 29, 2017
Chengdu aims to become China’s Silicon Valley
Janet Gyenes

It’s early morning at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding on Futou Mountain, part of the rare bears’ ancestral homeland. A small group of us are huddled against a wooden fence. We’re hoping to glimpse some of the giant pandas that have been bred and raised in this sprawling habitat of laurel trees (both real and artificial) and...

Nov 28, 2017
Nowhere to hide
Steve Burgess

It may be time for a modern update of that classic scene from old gangster flicks. It’s the one where the gang is holed up at the hideout. “Somebody at dis table,” the boss says, looking around, “is a rat.”The circle of hoods eye each other. Jimmy the Weasel starts to sweat—an unfortunate habit. Things are looking bad for Jimmy.

Nov 27, 2017
How will tech’s appetite for office space change downtowns?
Michael McCullough

Along bustling Westlake Avenue, running up a gentle incline from South Lake Union to the highrise heart of Seattle, about half the lunch-hour pedestrians and patrons sitting on café patios sport the distinctive blue lanyard and badge of the Amazon.com Inc. employee. The world’s preeminent digital retailer and cloud services provider employs more than 30,000 people spread over 30 buildings...

Nov 23, 2017
Office Space: Working Well
Felicity Stone

“There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” That message is inscribed at the base of the staircase in the Vancouver office of CBRE Group Inc., a global real estate services firm headquartered in Los Angeles. Encouraging physical activity is one reason the workspace has received Well Building Standard certification, which measures the effect of office...

Nov 22, 2017
Robo Crop: Seven B.C. companies pushing the boundaries of robotics
Scott Neufeld

Robots are on the move in B.C., if you know where to look. A mix of established veterans and promising startups, the province’s robotics companies are doing everything from delving into undersea exploration to teaching machines how to think like people. Some have become acquisition targets, a trend highlighted by camera maker Point Grey Research, a leader in machine vision...

Nov 21, 2017
Some Icelanders cool to a local hydro project backed by Ross Beaty’s Alterra Power
Scott Neufeld

There are few places more remote than Árneshrep­­pur. Nestled in Iceland’s Westfjords region, encircled by mountain peaks that undulate like the ocean below, it’s the nation’s least-populated county, with just 30 year-round residents. Árneshreppur is facing extinction. Weak transportation links, an unreliable power grid and an economy based on small-scale fishing and agriculture have triggered an exodus of young people.

Nov 16, 2017
Leadership: BMO’s Mike Bonner nurtures a new generation of leaders with a mix of drive and empathy
Scott Neufeld

In business, the person leading at any given point isn’t necessarily the one with the title and the corner office, says Mike Bonner, senior vice-president at BMO Financial Group, who heads the bank’s B.C. and Yukon division.“Leadership has nothing to do with the business card; it has nothing to do with your position,” Bonner contends. “I don’t think you have...

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