Gryphon Canada enters Vietnamese market

October 26, 2023 | 16:21
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After expanding its business operations in Vancouver, Taichung, Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, Gryphon Canada, an art-focused real estate developer hailing from Vancouver, has come to Vietnam. VIR's Bich Ngoc spoke with Jason Hsu, founder and CEO of Gryphon Canada, about his journey to bring the company's real estate products to the Vietnamese market.

What made you decide to bring your projects here?

Gryphon Canada enters Vietnamese market
Jason Hsu, founder and CEO of Gryphon Canada

The idea of expanding the business into Vietnam was sparked when I was quarantined for 14 days at a hotel due to the pandemic and overheard the news that Vietnam's GDP grew by more than 8 per cent in 2022. This growth really surprised me, and it shows there is significant potential for studying abroad. Canada is a great destination for this.

Besides this, I noticed that many Taiwanese investors in different sectors, from real estate to manufacturing and services, are doing business and living in Vietnam. Some of them have even been in Vietnam for more than two generations. Those are potential buyers for our products in Canada.

In the Vietnamese market, Gryphon Canada targets a customer group of parents who have children studying abroad in Canada and want to have a home in this country.

Therefore, when we were looking to expand into foreign markets to sell real estate, we immediately thought of Vietnam. In less than half a year of entering the market, we see that we have had a relatively good start here.

Can you tell us about any projects for the Vietnamese market?

When I first arrived in Canada 17 years ago, I sought out a doctor due to physical discomfort, but my personal experience then with medical services was not good enough.

I also felt the difficulties of seeking medical treatment as an immigrant. Therefore, I decided to combine good-quality buildings with medical services. As a result, I developed Marco Polo, a medical-oriented office building with 11 storeys above ground and a 4-floor basement, located in Vancouver, of which we hope to sell units to parents and people in Vietnam as investors.

This project aims to meet the medical and educational needs of the local neighbourhood. Current medical buildings such as Regent, Broadway, and Fairmont in Vancouver have existed since the 1950s and now the market needs new and advanced medical buildings to meet the increasing demand of residents.

According to a quarterly report on commercial real estate from Colliers International, the demand for rented space that can be used for medical services in Vancouver is currently up to 24 per cent, just behind the tech industry at 26 per cent. This figure has climbed by more than three times compared to 2018-2019, and continues to record on-year growth.

Marco Polo also provides retail space on the first floor alongside educational and childcare services on the third floor. The specialised international medical services floor focuses on family clinics and functional medicine, and there are multidisciplinary healthcare facilities stretching from the sixth to the eighth floors.

Gryphon Canada's goal in the Vietnamese market is to sell 15-20 units in the near future. It currently has a few first customers. Recently, Gryphon Canada sold 30 units in Taiwan and 20 units in other markets.

Canada's top medical group R•MEDY Executive Health, founded by Dr. Martin Braun, announced a partnership to expand its business facility on the eighth floor of Marco Polo in August.

In the future, R•MEDY will invite Dr. James Leung, the godfather of Asian functional medicine, to provide high-standard medical services to Marco Polo's premises owners and neighbouring residents.

Located in front of the intersection of Cambie Street and W49 Avenue in the Cambie Corridor, adjacent to Langara-49th train station and Langara College, the Marco Polo office achieved AAA standards with LEED GOLD, optimally meeting the strict criteria of contemporary office space.

What is Gryphon Canada's long-term strategy in Vietnam?

In the long-term, Gryphon Canada plans to cooperate with educational consulting units in Vietnam because the majority of the company's customers need accommodation in Canada. They tend to prefer it to other countries like the UK, the US, Australia, and even New Zealand.

To date, Gryphon Canada has five projects in its development portfolio, of which Westbury was already handed over to its homeowners, Gryphon House has recently celebrated its topping out milestone while Gryphon Nova and Marco Polo are being developed, and Dunbar is planned for development in the next five years. The parent group Jinray (from Taiwan) offers financial support and design consultancy services for Gryphon Canada.

Gryphon Canada enters Vietnamese market
A perspective view of the Marco Polo project developed by Gryphon Canada

How do investors feel about the Canadian real estate market?

The market in Vancouver has had a long development journey and is now relatively stable, so buying and reselling real estate products to make a profit does not happen much any more.

There are some main factors that attract global investors to Vancouver, including market fluctuations, the race among global investment funds, the synchronous urban transportation infrastructure, and the aim to stay ahead of trends.

In addition, policies on real estate ownership, transfer tax, inheritance, and foreign investment attraction are also core factors in boosting the attractiveness of real estate in Canada in general and Vancouver in particular.

In Vancouver, the innovation plan for the next 20 years in the Cambie Corridor has been announced, leading to the fact that a series of prominent private investors and funds from around the world are present here and anticipate added value in the future.

The commercial office occupancy rate in Vancouver is the highest in North America at 93.6 per cent, while the annual value increase rate is 8 per cent. Investors, meanwhile, often see a rental profit of 4 per cent a year within five years.

Gryphon Canada launches in Vietnam Gryphon Canada launches in Vietnam

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By Bich Ngoc

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