Vancouver corner stores: Strathcona home with retail sold below listed price and assessed value for $2.5 million

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      A 1905-era home in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood is getting a new owner.

      The two-storey property with ground-level space for retail was sold on April 16, 2021 for $2,510,888.

      Listing photos for 898 Keefer Street include images showing it has a neighbourhood store operating on ground level.

      The corner store is called Wayne Grocery.

      Vancouver city council has indicated an interest in seeing the preservation and revival of neighbourhood stores.

      Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung earlier successfully presented a motion citing the importance of these businesses in “creating social connection in neighbourhoods, as well as supporting daily needs”.

      Council approved Kirby-Yung’s motion on June 24, 2020.

      Kirby-Yung noted that neighbourhood stores are valuable, especially during times like the COVID-19 pandemic.

      The council pointed to a “greater need for neighbourhood amenities and local food infrastructure”.

      These include “coffee shops, restaurants, services, and shopping including the need to access goods right in their own neighbourhood”.

      “Local corner grocer stores once filled this role in Vancouver neighbourhoods, providing a place where locals bought fresh milk, cheese, some staples, while also serving as a social gathering place for Community,” Kirby-Yung noted in her motion.

      RE/MAX Select Properties listed 898 Keefer Street on November 9, 2020 for $3,388,000.

      Based on tracking by real-estate site, the price was reduced to $2,960,000 on December 16, 2020.

      Another reduction was made on January 1, 2021, bringing the price down to $2,810,000.

      The property was finally sold on April 6 this year for a lower price of $2,510,888.

      The home is located at the corner of Keefer Street and Campbell Avenue.

      Across the street on Campbell Avenue is the Russian Hall. Adjacent to and north of the hall is Stamps Place, a multi-family housing complex. Further north and at the corner of East Hastings Street is the Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre.

      On the other side of Keefer Street stands the Sacred Heart Catholic Parish church.

      The RE/MAX Select Properties listing indicated that the property currently has “apartment over commercial use”.

      “Reshape the building for investment, hold or rebuild on this precious lot!” the listing announced.

      The property was listed on November 11, 2020 for more than $3.3 million.

      Because the property came on the market November 9, 2020, the Straight sought listing agent Jessica Liu to find out whether or not Wayne Grocery remains open.

      Liu refused to share details, noting that the sale is subject for completion.

      “There’s really nothing you can write about,” Liu said over the phone.

      Told that the listing includes photos of Wayne Grocery, the realtor didn’t budge.

      “You can see whatever you can see,” Liu said.

      Liu wondered why the Straight was making enquiries about the sale.

      “Are you the buyer?” the agent asked, and was informed that there is a lot of public interest about neighbourhood stores.

      “It doesn’t really make any difference,” Liu said in response.

      The final sale price of $2,510,888 also fell below the 2021 assessed value of 898 Keefer Street.

      B.C. Assessment placed the value of the Strathcona property at $2,841,200 as of July 1, 2020.

      The provincial assessment office’s online page about the property shows Wayne Grocery doing business.

      The listed phone number of the corner store does not work anymore.