Vancouver real estate: board upholds $8 million assessment of Cambie Corridor lot bought in 1984 at $172,000

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      A board has confirmed the $8,031,000 assessment of a property along the rapidly densifying Cambie Corridor of Vancouver.

      The decision by the provincial Property Assessement Appeal Board regarding 512 King Edward Avenue is a good example about how much properties have appreciated in the city.

      It also illustrates how land becomes more expensive as a result of city government measures like the adoption of new community plans and rezonings.

      “The property has no recent sales history, last selling on the open market in 1984 for $172,000,” panel chair Larry Dybvig wrote.

      Dybvig’s decision and order arose from an appeal brought by property owner Sydney Benjamin.

      Benjamin believes that the 2020 valuation made by a property assessment review panel was too high.

      The owner argued the valuation of 512 King Edward should be a lot lower, or closer to $2,471,000.

      The provincial assessor presented evidence that the property is actually worth higher at $11,958,000.

      The assessor asked the appeal board to uphold the review panel’s assessment of $8,031,000, which was mainly for land value.

      The property is located at the southwest corner of King Edward Avenue and Cambie Street.

      Across the street is the King Edward Station of Canada Line.

      In 2016, Vancouver city council approved an application by filed by Arno Matis Architecture on behalf of S Benjamin Holdings Ltd. to rezone the property.

      The plan was to redevelop the single-family home lot into a six-storey building with 50 rental units.

      The rezoning application was made and approved under the city’s Cambie Corridor Plan, which was designed to transform the mostly single-family-home properties near the path of the underground Canada Line.

      In his decision and order, Dybvig noted that the City of Vancouver has “not enacted the rezoning nor has it registered a title encumbrance restricting development to rental housing”.

      The assessor argued that since there is no restriction yet on the title requiring it for rental purposes, the market value should be based on its highest use, which is strata or condo development.

      With this type of development and based on comparable properties, the market value is $11,958,000.

      If it were a rental, the market value is $7,965,000.

      The owner Benjamin argued that the “rezoning-in-principle is still in place” and that “nothing can be done differently until it is removed”.

      Also, a development permit application for rental development has been submitted to the city.

      “He lists an extensive list of requirements that must be met to obtain approval for development under the Cambie Corridor Plan,” Dybvig wrote.

      Dybvig noted that the Cambie Corridor Plan allows for strata development.

      Also, Benjamin has “not provided evidence demonstrating why the four-year-old 2016 application cannot be abandoned and a new application under the Cambie Corridor Plan initiated, whether by the current owner or by some other hypothetical owner”.

      “Given the evidence before me, I find that development pursuant to the Cambie Corridor Plan is the highest and best use of the property; consequently, I find the market value of the subject property to be $11,958,000,” Dybvig wrote.

      Dybvig confirmed the assessment of the 11,063 square feet at 512 King Edward Avenue at $8,021,000, and the 2,286-square-foot house built in 1948 at $10,000.