An appeal board upheld the $11.2 million assessment of a Vancouver property intended for a contentious rental development.
The James Group sought a lower valuation for 1805 Larch Street, where a five-storey building will be constructed.
The project became the subject of controversy last year when some residents in the Kitsilano neighbourhood opposed the development.
On December 18, 2019, council approved the rezoning application for the site with an 8-3 vote.
Councillor Jean Swanson cast one of the three dissenting votes, saying most of the units will have expensive rents.
The average rent for a three-bedroom unit in the project starts at $4,000 a month.
Councillors Adrianne Carr and Colleen Hardwick also voted against the project.
Bruce Turner of the provincial Property Assessment Appeal Board rendered a decision regarding 1805 Larch Street.
The property’s $11.2 million assessment consists of $10,691,000 for land, and $509,000 for improvements on the site.
The property measures 17,700 square feet.
An agent for the James Group sought a reduction of the land assessment to $8,297,000.
The property’s value lies mostly on the land. The church on the site will be demolished to give way for the new rental building.
As Turner related in his order and decision, the assessor presented two sales to support the valuation of 1805 Larch Street.
One of the two transactions involved the sale of the subject property itself in January 2018 for $11,998,000.
At $11,988,000 and computed based on land alone, the value turns up to $677 per square foot.
With the $8,297,000 valuation sought by the appellant, this translates to $468 for every square foot of land.
As for the $11.2 million assessment under appeal, the number equates to $632 a square foot.
Going back to the two sales presented by the assessor, Turner noted that their time-adjusted prices range from $644 to $700 per square foot.
“Based on this, I find that the subject’s assessment of $632 per square foot is conservative compared to its market value,” Turner wrote.
Turner concluded that the assessment falls “within a reasonable range of market value”.