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Celebrating 35 Years and Honouring David Podmore’s Legacy

Following the highly successful Expo 86, Vancouver experienced a surge in population and rental prices. David Podmore had developed Expo’s master-plan and was introduced to the seasoned real estate professional Jack Poole. The two hit it off and together proposed a new solution to address Vancouver’s housing crisis: create a company that would build rental housing using capital from union pensions and business investors, on leased land from the city. This innovative approach—recently rediscovered by current governments across Canada—gained support; and on June 1, 1989, Concert Properties, originally known as Vancouver Land Corporation, was born.

This month marks two major milestones for Concert Properties—the company’s 35th anniversary and the retirement of Co-Founder and Chair, David Podmore, OBC. In celebrating these events, we reflect not only on the company’s growth and success but on the original vision and ensuing legacy of David and fellow co-founder, Jack Poole.

From modest beginnings sharing a single desk and working with an initial $27.4 million capital investment, Podmore and Poole had a vision for growing the company that was anchored by three founding principles: ensure attractive returns for the Canadian union and management pension funds and institutional investors who own us, create jobs and use skilled construction union labour, and also give back to communities where we work. These principles remain central to Concert Properties' business and vision for the future.

After the initial development of nearly 1,000 assured residential rental homes that we still manage today, the company grew and diversified into condominiums, seniors’ communities, commercial and industrial income producing properties and infrastructure across Canada.

Today, Concert Properties has more than $9 billion in assets, including $3.3 billion in infrastructure, and employs over 500 people across Canada. With over 13,500 homes built or under construction, including 1,242 assured affordable homes, over 13 million square feet of commercial space, and over 9,000 homes in our development pipeline, Concert Properties continues to significantly impact the real estate landscape.

Behind this growth, and the company’s stellar reputation, stands David Podmore. It is David’s integrity, generosity and compassion that employees, colleagues, partners and peers routinely point to in considering the influence he has had over the past 35 years. He built thirty-year partnerships on a handshake, avoided layoffs, and continued to deliver consistent profitability, fulfilling his commitment to providing stable returns to investors—even during economic downturns. And by embodying trust and respect for employees, David created a culture where nearly 20 percent of staff have over a decade of tenure. In turn, the company has been named a BC Top Employer four years in a row. Through Concert Properties and his many personal philanthropic endeavours, David has raised over a quarter of a billion dollars for health care, education and trades training, impacting the lives of countless people across the country.

As we reflect upon the past 35 years, we celebrate David’s remarkable legacy. We will continue to honour his vision for building a resilient, inclusive and sustainable people-first future.