Vancouver home in Cambie Corridor high-density plan sells for almost $1 million more than assessed value

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      B.C. Assessment says this property on the west side of Vancouver is worth $3,447,300.

      The owner of 5530 Baillie Stree thinks it’s about a million dollars more than that.

      And so on March 10, 2021, the single-family home came on the market for $4,380,000.

      The property was marketed by Royal Pacific Realty Corp. not only as a “well maintained house…on a nice and quiet lot”.

      The realty agency also included in its pitch an “investment” opportunity available for a successful buyer.

      The property is designated for either a four-storey condo development or a six-storey rental building under the Cambie Corridor Plan.

      The plan seeks to bring dense developments along and around the path of the underground Canada Line subway, a legacy of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

      Going back to 5530 Baillie Street, the marketing material for the property notes that the “best investment” for it under the Cambie Corridor Plan is for a six-storey “apartment development”.

      A buyer came along and bought the property at its listing price of $4,380,000.

      This means that 5530 Baillie Street sold for nearly a million dollars over its assessed value, or $932,700 to be exact.

      The property sold on March 26 after 16 days on the market, based on tracking by real-estate site

      The lot is huge, and it has a frontage of 56 feet, which is nearly double that of a standard lot with a 33-foot front.

      When asked for comment on deals like this, city watcher Randy Helten thinks it’s “pretty crazy”.

      “When you put in a subway line, and then you upzone along for higher heights and density, then you get increased land values, very aggressive speculation going on, and windfall profits for some lucky people,” Helten told the Straight in a phone interview.

      Helten added that the results do not necessarily include “providing affordability for low- and middle- income earners of the city”.

      “But what's next?” asked Helten, a director with CityHallWatch, an online site that tackles a wide range of city issues.

      Helten noted that the new Broadway subway is set to be built as far as Arbutus Street.

      He stated that increased heights and densities are being sought by planners with the City of Vancouver for the Broadway corridor as far as Vine Street.

      “Now the boosters are calling for the Olympics back in 2030, to justify an extension [of the Broadway subway] to UBC, and it’s the same cycle again,” Helten said.