OpenRoad Auto Group is now also in the business of developing and selling multi-family homes.

The major BC-based car dealership chain has formally launched its residential real estate development division, OpenForm Properties, starting with the unveiling of its first project — E15 Just Off Main at 322 East 15th Avenue in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.

“We’re excited to parlay our experience building world-class dealerships and delivering customer service excellence for more than two decades,” said Christian Chia, director of OpenForm Properties and CEO of OpenRoad Auto Group, in a statement.

“This is an exciting new venture that will see several new and unique multi-family developments coming to the Vancouver area soon.”

This development with 49 townhomes — ranging from studios to three-bedroom units — replaces Bethlehem Lutheran Church building, just one block east of Main Street. The project’s design firms are Marianne Amodio + Harley Grusko Architects and Cristina Oberti Interior Design.

The angled form of the three-storey structure enables customized murals to be painted onto the exterior of each townhome.

Local artist Scott Sueme, who is perhaps best known for his “Box of Crayons” mural blanketing the exterior of the Hootsuite headquarters, has been commissioned to design townhome murals that complement the neighbourhood’s history.

May 2021 artistic rendering of E15 Just Off Main at 322 East 15th Avenue, Vancouver. (Marianne Amodio + Harley Grusko Architects/OpenForm Properties)

322 East 15th Avenue Vancouver

May 2020 development permit application: preliminary artistic rendering of 322 East 15th Avenue, Vancouver. This visual shows the surfaces that will be used as the canvas for murals. The murals shown in the rendering are not the actual design. (Marianne Amodio + Harley Grusko Architects)

E15 also offers residents ample indoor and outdoor amenities, including a lawn game area for bocce and spike ball, a covered and heated outdoor BBQ kitchen and dining area, outdoor movie space, and community gardens.

Presales for E15 will begin over the coming weeks, and the completion of construction is anticipated in early 2023.

OpenForm’s second project is currently being reviewed by the City of Burnaby — a proposal to redevelop its dealership at 6948 Kingsway near SkyTrain’s Edmonds Station into 426 homes within a complex of a 40-storey tower with an attached six-storey podium building. Highgate Tower will include 346 condominium units, 69 rental homes, 11 townhomes, and a ground-level retail component fronting Kingsway.

The development firm’s parent company has 34 full-service dealerships, including 29 locations in BC and Ontario, and four luxury brands in Bellevue, Washington.

322 East 15th Avenue Vancouver

May 2020 development permit application: preliminary artistic rendering of 322 East 15th Avenue, Vancouver. (Marianne Amodio + Harley Grusko Architects)

E15 Just Off Main 322 East 15th Avenue Vancouver

May 2021 artistic rendering of E15 Just Off Main at 322 East 15th Avenue, Vancouver. (Marianne Amodio + Harley Grusko Architects/OpenForm Properties)