Bought in 1970s at $90,000, Vancouver lots near Oakridge Centre now selling for $10 million as tower sites

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      A legacy of the 2010 Winter Olympics continues to churn out untold riches in Vancouver.

      That would be the Canada Line subway, whose development led to the densification of areas along and around the Canada Line subway.

      Through the Cambie Corridor Plan, the City of Vancouver has transformed what used to be predominantly single-family home neighbourhoods.

      This process continues, as may be seen by real-estate listings that advertise lots with detached homes for potential highrises.

      “Rezoning potential definitely has some sellers dreaming of dollar signs,” realtor Adam Major told the Straight.

      Major, managing broker with Holywell Properties, cites 407 West 43rd Avenue as an example.

      The property is located near the Oakridge Centre, a shopping mall currently being redeveloped as a complete community with 10 towers.

      The listing states: “Grade A Investment Opportunity! Prime Oakridge area development lot located 1/2 block east of Oakridge Shopping Centre: part of Cambie Corridor Development Plan. Potential re-development for mixed use towers - commercial / residential up to 18 stories.”

      The property is on the market for $9.8 million, which Major noted to be 3.69 times its 2021 assessed value of $2,654,900.

      He recalled that the residence has been on and off the market since June 2018, when it was first listed for $11 million.

      Major related that the seller paid $92,000 for the property in 1979.

      “If they sold for the assessed value [of $2.65 million], that would be over $2.5 million tax free for a principal residence,” Major said.

      The Hollywell Properties executive was referring to the current system wherein an owner is exempted from paying capital gains tax if the property served as principal residence.

      “But $2.5 million tax free doesn’t go very far these days,” Major said.

      “And who would settle for $2.5 million in tax-free gains, when you can hold out for $9.7 million tax free?” the realtor continued.

      “But is $10 million enough?  Is it ever enough?” he went on.  

      This property at 5561 Ash Street has an assessed value of $3,062,400, and is on the market for $10 million.

      Major is also the CEO of his company’s real-estate information site,

      A listing tracked by Zealty and along the vein of Major’s take on some Cambie Corridor properties is 5561 Ash Street.

      The listing states: “Potential for highrise residential rezoning. Good house on property. Close to Oakridge Shopping Mall.”

      Major recalled that the property was listed in 2019 for $12.5 million.

      The price was later reduced to $9 million, and eventually increased by a million to the current asking price of $10 million.

      “Not only is it one of the longest listings in Vancouver, in terms of price to assessed value, it is near the top at 3.27 times assessed value,” Major said.

      The realtor was referring to the property’s 2021 assessed value of $3,062,400.

      Citing the tax record, Major said that seller paid $91,000 for the home in 1976.

      “If this is their principal residence and if they were to sell for assessed value [of $3,062,400], it would be almost a $3 million tax-free gain,” he said.

      “But why settle for $3 million when you can hold out for $10 million?” Major added.