The Gabriola is a storied heritage mansion built by the Rogers family in 1901. It’s a Vancouver landmark, located at the corner of Davie Street and Nicola Street in the West End. The Gabriola was recently listed for sale on the market at a price of $10 million. That’s a significant markup from the assessed value of the property at $3,769,000. What might be in the works?
The Gabriola is protected by a legal heritage designation from the City of Vancouver and it has a class A designation in the Heritage Register. However, this designation is not bullet-proof protection. An important fact to note is it is possible to modify a heritage designation in the event that both the City and the owners agree to it. Also, the Legg Residence on Harwood Street was also designated “Heritage A,” that did not save it from the wrecking ball earlier this year.
Currently the site has a CD-1 spot zoning. The recently-passed 30-year West End community plan makes provisions for 20-storey towers in properties adjacent to this site. There is enough room on the east side of the property to construct a tower along Nicola Street without touching the heritage mansion. Would the City entertain such a scenario? What deals might be in the works? Will heritage and the public interest be protected?
The Huffington Post has a good article, with historical photos. Gabriola House, Historic Vancouver Property, For Sale (by Andree Lau, 9-Dec-2014). The Vancouver Sun has also covered this story http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/Shelley+Fralic+West+history+block/10454382/story.html (by Shelly Fralic, 9-Dec-2014).
The Keg Steakhouse reportedly bought the property in 2011 (posts here, here and here). David Aisenstat was identified as the president of The Keg Restaurants (here and here). He also contributed the largest individual donation to Vision Vancouver in 2014, and Keg Restaurants was also a Vision donor:
Individual David Aisenstat $100,000
Corporate Keg Restaurants $40,000
The Gabriola is located at 1523 Davie, the property is comprised of three lots:
This is the view of the mansion from the Nicola Street side: