A Vancouver property with a spooky reputation has returned to the market in search of a new owner.
This comes less than a year after city council on March 9, 2021 approved a rezoning application for a six-storey rental building at the 4118-4138 Cambie Street site.
The asking price for the prime location across King Edward Station of Canada Line is $26 million.
Pennyfarthing Properties Grayson North Ltd. acquired 4118 Cambie Street, which has a reputed haunted house, and the adjoining 4138 Cambie Street site between 2017 and 2018.
The development company paid a total of $16,150,000 for the two properties.
At the asking price of $26 million, Pennyfarthing is looking at a 60.9 percent gross profit.
That’s $9,850,000 for its investment three to four years ago.
The property now carries the consolidated address of 4118 Cambie Street.
It has a 2021 assessment of $24,138,000.
For many years, ghostly tales abounded regarding the home at 4118 Cambie Street.
“The story goes that it was either an ancient burial ground or there was a man who murdered his elderly mother there,” blogger Michael Kwan wrote back in 2011.
Kwan related that “everyone who inhabited the home since then has experienced strange occurrences”.
“We’ve heard stories of luggage being left out on the lawn, baby cribs pushed precariously to the edge of windows, shadowy footsteps walking up the exterior walls, families sleeping only to wake up on the lawn, and more,” the writer behind the Beyond the Rhetoric site noted at the time.
“I hear that Buddhist monks live there and the house is ‘clean’ of spirits, but I still get chills,” Kwan added.
Earlier in 2010, Mary Sheridan of the Mary in Vancity blog wrote about haunted places in the city.
Commenting on the post, a reader by the name of Alice suggested: “You should check up on that creepy haunted house on Cambie St and King Ed…supposedly now owned by Buddhist monks!”
Records show that in 2016, Pennyfarthing filed a rezoning application for 4138 Cambie Street on behalf of its owner Yuk Ying Ng.
The plan for the property at the time was for a six-storey condo building and two-storey townhouses, or a total of 22 strata homes.
The developer purchased the same property at 4138 Cambie Street from Ng in 2017 for $4,150,000.
City council approved the rezoning application in 2019.
However, the approved application was later withdrawn.
Change of plans
In 2018, Pennyfarthing bought the neighbouring property at 4118 Cambie Street, home to the supposed haunted house.
The company purchased the site from the Canada Shin Yat Tong Moral Society, a religious charity and home of the Buddhist monks who reportedly lived in the property.
The purchase price was $12 million.
In 2020, Pennyfarthing filed a new rezoning application for the consolidated property.
This time, it was for a rental development with 90 units.
As of this post, the listing made by agent Avison Young has been on the realtor.ca site for 38 days.
The listing highlighted the “development opportunity” for the combined properties with the single 4118 Cambie Street address.
“This offering presents a developer with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop a residential property in an A+ transit-oriented location near Vancouver's iconic Queen Elizabeth Park,” the listing notes.
Realtor David Hutchinson is often sought by media for comments on property deals, housing affordability, and related urban issues.
The longtime agent with Sutton Group-West Coast Realty noted that spot rezonings like this one at 4118-4138 Cambie Street “just drives up prices of land”.
Generally, these make new housing “unaffordable”.
“And as we see in the cases with half-duplexes, they are always more expensive than the full existing house that was on the land before it,” Hutchinson told the Straight.
Hutchinson suggested that one solution would be to make the whole city of Vancouver into a CD-1 zone.
CD-1 means “comprehensive development”, which allows a mix of commercial and high-rise residential.
“That would be the true answer to the supply issue. A level playing field for everyone. This would end the zoning lottery windfall, and increase the amount of supply drastically, thereby reducing the prices of the new housing,” Hutchinson argued.
The realtor acknowledged that making every detached-home property zoned for high rises is a “hot topic”.
However, the resulting prices of land assemblies would “drop substantially with all this new supply, therefore the housing being built would also be more affordable”.
“This doesn't mean that high rises would be popping up all over Vancouver,” Hutchinson said. “There would still be a development application process, and neighbourhood consultation.”
“And because of the difficulties in any land assembly, some people will not sell,” the realtor continued. “Others will want too much money.”
“And there are many streets in Vancouver intermixed with brand new homes next to old houses that simply would not make the land assembly feasible,” Hutchinson added.
It’s a bold idea to solve the housing affordability problem in Vancouver.
“But wouldn't it be nice to see some high rises in First Shaughnessy, UBC, and West Point Grey?” Hutchinson asked.