Vancouver real estate: newly designated West End heritage home approved for upgrades selling at $4.5 million

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      About a year ago, Vancouver city council designated a West End home as a protected heritage property.

      This secured the 1907-era residence at 1517 Comox Street from demolition and exterior alterations that affect its historical value.

      In addition, city hall approved a plan to renovate the rental home’s interior.

      The plan includes adding a new three-storey rental building with two units at the back of the lot.

      With a development permit in place, the place is ready to be refurbished.

      A new owner may want to take on that project.

      The 1507 Comox Street heritage home is selling for $4.5 million.

      Real estate agency Goodman Commercial Inc. listed the property on the market.

      The listing describes it as ideal for either an owner-occupier or investor.

      It notes that the home has two self-contained rental suites, and five “sleeping rooms”, of which two are “unauthorized”.

      Goodman Commercial explains that a new owner has three options.

      One is to renovate the existing building, and add a new infill building with two rental units as approved in its development permit.

      Second is to renovate the existing building, and wait to add the infill.

      The third is simply to continue operating as a rental property in its current form.

      According to Goodman Commercial, the owner took the property through the city’s development permit process with Stuart Howard Architects Inc.

      “The development permit has been approved and paid for and plans are available for qualified interested parties,” the property agency states in the listing.

      After public hearing, Vancouver city council on September 10, 2019 approved the designation of 1517 Comox Street as a protected heritage property.

      The designation covers the structure and exterior of the home.

      In a report to council, Jason Olinek, assistant director of planning, related that the home is known as the George Residence.

      According to city planner, the property is “valued for its association with the growth and development of the West End neighbourhood and for its Edwardian-era architectural features”.

      “The George Residence was constructed at the beginning of a major wave of development in the West End neighbourhood in the early twentieth century,” Olinek recalled.

      He added that the home “continued to represent the needs of the West End neighbourhood by converting to a rooming house in the early 1940s during the further densification of the neighbourhood”.

      Its Edwardian-era architectural details include “bay windows, decorative wood finishes, gabled roof with embellished peak, full-width porch, and wooden windows with diamond multi-pane upper sashes”.

      Moreover, “The heritage building and its neighbour at 1523 Comox Street were designed and constructed by local carpenter and active Edwardian-era builder, Thomas J. Lightheart.”

      Olinek also informed council that the Vancouver Heritage Commission reviewed and supported the development permit application for the property.