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Photos and images (aerial and VanMap) that illustrate the five locations mentioned — Duke Street south side, Duke Street north side, Earles Street, Skyway Towers on Kingsway, Chambers Street — can be viewed in the complementary Predator — Photo Gallery  posting.

Land Rush
Klein Group has assembled forty single-family properties in Norquay into four parcels (15 lots, 7 lots, 4 lots, 4 lots) and is marketing two for redevelopment as four-story apartment and two for redevelopment as Stacked Townhouse/Rowhouse. Those forty properties alone add up to more than 2% of the 1900 in Norquay that suffered mass rezoning in 2010.

Average asking price for land with existing house ranges from $1.0 million per property to $1.08 million. It should be noted that except for the Earles Street properties all of the assemblages have a less-than-standard depth of 103-104 feet. Details of the land assemblies can be found in the appendix at the end.

What Happens to Existing Residents?
The August 2013 Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver “benchmark price” for a single family detached dwelling in Vancouver East was $849,100, while the median selling price for a detached dwelling in Vancouver East was $905,000.

On 4 June 2013 the Vancouver Sun listed the five “cheapest detached homes now for sale” on the east side of Vancouver. Prices clustered just below $600,000, with one outlier at $539,000.

It therefore seems clear that most “assembled” homeowners will be looking at a premium that lies somewhere within a spread of well under $400,000.

These aspects deserve consideration:

One —  Any displaced homeowner will face substantial costs associated with relocation. Foremost will be the involuntary property transfer tax. Renters may find themselves forced to leave Vancouver.

Two —  The assembler of the land expects to profit from taking on an intermediary role, may benefit from ability to waive or reduce commissions, and may have been accumulating properties in anticipation of rezoning.

Three —  Much of the land assembly lies close to or backs onto the twelve-storey Skyway Towers development underway at 2711 Kingsway. To live for an extended period (the project progresses slowly) under a large construction crane cannot be pleasant. In the end, adjacent properties to the north will be subjected to severe shadowing.

Four —  An owner may feel pressured by the prospect of potentially isolating redevelopment to either side that could further reduce existing property value.

Five —  Some of Norquay’s most affordable housing stock for both owners and renters is the first to disappear. This is not surprising, since profit seeks to exploit the greatest potential margin, putting densest development onto cheapest land.

Six —  Taken together, many of these aspects constitute an unstated City of Vancouver policy of promoting de facto expropriation. How do you get people off of their land when it is very difficult to directly force them to sell and move? Unleash large development right next door; threaten to surround and bury them if they hold out; upzone enough to reward development vulture capital without going far enough to put real reward into the landowner’s pocket.

Who Is Klein Group?
Klein Group operates as a “member” of Royal LePage. Parent company Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE:BAM) is a “global asset manager focused on property, power and infrastructure assets with approximately $95 billion of assets under management.” Their web site says:

Commercial  —  Our commercial real estate division consistently outperforms in asset management, brokerage, and investment services for our institutional and private clients.

Marketing  —  We create precise, risk attentive marketing programs for leading residential, commercial, and resort property developers to deliver results in very competitive environments.

Prior to 2005 Brookfield Asset Management was known as Brascan. Back in 1997, the Edper Group owned by magnates Edward and Peter Bronfman amalgamated with Brascan and become EdperBrascan. In 2000 that designation was shortened to Brascan.

Brascan, which dates back to the 1912 consolidation of railway and power companies in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo under Canadian entrepreneur Sir William Mackenzie, has in recent years been forsaking its origins in resources to concentrate on real estate, electricity generation and specialty assets in the United States and Canada.   — Gary Norris. “Brascan changing name to Brookfield Asset Management, plans US$500M buyback.” Canadian Press NewsWire [Toronto] (15 Sept 2005)

Here is more about the large corporation that is swooping into Norquay after City Council’s Vision-NPA axis rode right over most of what the community had to say about its own future:

At its peak, the conglomerate that Cockwell forged with Edward and Peter Bronfman’s money represented a third of the Toronto Stock Exchange’s value and owned parts of more than 200 companies including John Labatt Ltd., MacMillan Bloedel, Royal LePage and Royal Trust — connected in a web of holding companies. … We believe keeping a low profile is good for business,” he adds. “It’s best to be under the radar.” [This was said by CEO Bruce Flatt in 2010]   — Joanna Pachner. “A perfect predator” Canadian Business 83:11-12 (20 July-16 Aug 2010) 51-52, 54, 56

Elsewhere in British Columbia, this corporate monster from the east — titled a perfect predator by Canadian Business — has made itself infamous by planning to log old-growth timber on Cortes Island and by sucking profits out of BC Hydro through destructive run-of-river power projects.

*   *   *   *   *   *


2604 — 2696 Duke St  —  South Side between Duchess and Earles

Current:  15 single-family houses

Parcel Dimension:  448 x 103 = 46,144 sq ft

Asking Price:  $16.25 million

New Zoning:  FSR 2.0 — 4-storey apartment w underground parking

2643 — 2665 Duke St  —  North Side between Duchess and Earles

Current:  4 single-family houses

Parcel Dimension:  132 x 103 = 13,583 sq ft

Asking Price:  $4 million

New Zoning:  FSR 1.2 — Rowhouse / Stacked Townhouse

5095 — 5011 Earles Street  —  West Side between Duke and Ward

Current:  7 single-family houses

Parcel Dimension:  224 x 112 = 24,752 sq ft

Asking Price:  $7.6 million

New Zoning:  FSR 1.2 — Rowhouse / Stacked Townhouse

2606 East 34th Ave and 5028 — 5052 Chambers St  —  East Side South of East 34th Ave

Current:  4 single-family houses

Parcel Dimension:  154 x 104 = 16,047 sq ft

Asking Price:  $4.8 million

New Zoning:  FSR 2.0 — 4-storey apartment w underground parking


Written by eyeonnorquay

24 September 2013 at 12:18 am

Posted in News

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