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Richmond-based automotive group expands to real estate development

Company focuses on residential real estate market in the B.C. Lower Mainland

Richmond’s OpenRoad Auto Group has branched out into the real estate industry, starting with a development in Vancouver.

The new company, which goes by the name OpenForm Properties, was established in October 2019 and is focusing on the residential real estate market with its first multi-family project titled E15 Just off Main.

Norm Shearing, president of Open Form Properties, said the opportunity to expand presented itself naturally when the Honda dealership in Burnaby outgrew its space and OpenRoad decided to relocate it.

 “(OpenRoad) saw an opportunity to develop the site that was freed up and started a development company,” said Shearing.

When asked if there were any difficulties expanding into a new industry, he said they aren’t “too worried.”

 “OpenRoad has technically been in the real estate industry by purchasing land and developing it for its dealerships. Our team is well-versed and has a lot of experience in the development side and it’s the residential part that is new,” said Shearing.

“We feel we are well-placed to provide a difference and to be different compared to our competitors, just with the level of care we are bringing to our customers.”

Shearing told the Richmond News that OpenForm’s name came from its need to “maintain the strong connection” with the OpenRoad brand.

“Our parent company is well-respected in the Lower Mainland in B.C. and for us, it was important to have a name that linked to them, but not directly.”

Besides the 49-unit townhouse project in Vancouver, OpenForm has a residential tower and properties in Burnaby and is looking to develop in other municipalities in the future, according to Shearing.

While OpenForm is temporarily located in Vancouver, the final location for the brand’s office has yet to be decided.