When $200 took you places
Keith Beedie and his partner bought their first 50-foot lot in Marpole from the City of Vancouver for $190. Plans for their new shop were drawn up over the weekend and approved on Monday morning by City Hall. With the generosity and support of their mentor, Wally Hammond, two 19-year-old men started their company.
The concrete shop that Keith built for woodworking would now be his start in the construction business.Next
Starting a family and a family business
Keith, now with a young family, continued his construction experience by framing his own home. Charlie, the roofer he hired, turned out to be one of the hardest working people he had ever known and a pivotal person in his career. As a result, he and Charlie began taking roofing contracts of their own. Long hours and dedication paid off and, soon after, Keith was completing contracts on new homes.
From this hands-on experience, Beedie Construction was born in 1954.Next
Constructing prize homes with pride
In the first half of the 1960s, Beedie Construction became known for building the PNE Prize homes - a dream home for thousands of Vancouverites who attended the annual fair.
But despite his progress, Keith was struggling. Vancouver’s cyclical housing market hit bottom in 1962 and 1963. The crash left Keith owning many homes in various stages of construction with costs he couldn’t recover. Accountants told him to declare bankruptcy but, instead, Keith negotiated for additional time. One year later, he was able to repay his creditors in full, with interest.
This volatility led the company to diversify into the construction of commercial and industrial buildings and, later, ownership and leasing.Next
Acquiring land and building on a reputation
The 1970s brought significant opportunity to Beedie Construction. On a one-acre parcel at 3 Road and Landsdowne in Richmond, Keith constructed a building for American Motors. Other properties included space for Trans Pacific Warehouses and a joint venture for CavCo Carpets totaling 230,000 square feet — a building the Beedie Development Group still owns today. Throughout the decade, Beedie acquired land, built industrial and commercial properties and helped finance part of a residential property in Port Coquitlam.
The company’s land holdings were growing, along with a diverse portfolio of completed properties.Next
Designing with a difference
In the 1980s, Octavio Fernandez joined the company. His innovative designs for industrial buildings contributed to the company’s reputation as a market leader. His work can still be seen in over 270 of the company’s buildings. In the first half of the decade, Beedie designed and constructed manufacturing and warehouse space for BC Tel, HY Louis, Hyundai and other companies. In 1986, Beedie bought 60 acres of raw industrial land in Port Coquitlam. On
this land, Keith was able to fulfill a long-held dream of developing his first industrial park.
By the end of the decade, Beedie employees were offered an opportunity to invest in the new holding company and profit from its growth.Next
Building on family
In 1992, Keith’s youngest son Ryan Beedie joined the company and began overseeing the development of buildings and industrial parks. In the last half of the decade, Beedie Development Group constructed over 60 buildings, translating into a completion rate of approximately one per month. Buildings spanned the Lower Mainland, from Coquitlam to Langley and Surrey, for companies as diverse as Finning, Canada Post and Old Dutch Foods.
As the decade closed, Beedie expanded its reach by purchasing another 60 acres for an industrial park in Delta.Next
Reaching the riverside
In 2004, the company purchased 89 acres along Coquitlam’s Fraser River, formerly known as Fraser Mills. This project will allow the company to complete a high-profile project that blends residential, commercial and industrial development in a location that will eventually provide 3700 homes in addition to over 275,000 sq.ft. of commercial and retail space.
Later that decade, Beedie made its first land purchase outside BC, in Airdrie, Alberta and began constructing a 450,000 sq.ft. project in BC for Brewers Distributor Ltd. – its largest project to date.Next
Looking back to look forward
Today, Beedie Development Group is honoured that so many of its employees measure their time with the company in decades, and that its long- term tenants have established and expanded their businesses within Beedie facilities.
The company has grown far beyond what Keith Beedie could have imagined. In 60 years, the organization has not only become the largest private landlord of industrial space in BC, it has also grown its residential division by launching Beedie Living, the group leading all future home building and mixed-use projects.
The company looks forward to its next 60 years of growth and success.