SVPS society shines light on shady deals with public funds & land at Emery Barnes Park

Emery Barnes Park

Emery Barnes Park in Vancouver. Blue building (Jubilee House, social housing) has now been demolished. Future site of the “8X8 ON THE PARK” condo tower

Update: CKNW AM 980 at 4 pm, Friday, March 10. Interview of SVPS (Glen Chernen) with Lynda Steele and Drex. Audio archive (16 minutes): https://omny.fm/shows/steele-drex/bc-gov-t-made-loan-to-developer-to-build-luxury-co

The South Vancouver Parks Society (http://vanparks.ca/, @FeeSimplePark) has been delving deep and shining light on what appear to be shading dealings with public funds and public land at 508 Helmcken (re-addressed as 1111 Richards, a.k.a. “8×8 ON THE PARK” in Vancouver. Last week they were in meetings with the BC Assessment Review Panel regarding significant and unexplained reductions in the assessed value, saving the owner in property taxes.

This was previously publicly-owned city land at Emery Barnes Park downtown. Political donors/fundraisers received secret financing with public funds, highly profitable business deals, and what was previously public land is now subject to sales flipping activity even before the condo tower is built. It appears to be another case where law enforcement should be getting intensively involved and defending the public interest.

In the past few days, SVPS has released a large amount of information on its website (http://vanparks.ca/). Here below are a few excerpts and links to a couple recent data releases.

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Pre-Sales Data of 508 Helmcken – (March 10, 2017)

508 HELMCKEN: New address 1111 Richards. a.k.a. “8×8 ON THE PARK”

This is a collection of sales data we have obtained regarding this project. It has been advertised that it is 85% sold so there will be much more information eventually disclosed.

The Range of these Strata Condo Sales price per square foot of area is $1348 – $1,761

These are some market strata Pre-Sales at 508 Helmcken sold by Rennie Marketing Systems in 2016. Construction of these strata condos has not yet occurred. Advertising says 85% of units are SOLD.

See more: http://vanparks.ca/2017/03/10/pre-sales-data-of-508-helmcken/

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BC HOUSING FINANCES SPEC CONDO SALES (March 9, 2017)

This is about:

  • The Deputy Premier appointing a realtor to the BC Housing Board.
  • A loan approved by the BC Housing Board purely to finance condos.
  • A “Pre-Sale” loan feature granted by BC Housing just for condos.
  • How BC Housing’s website discloses misleading information about this loan.
  • How a former BC Housing Board member got millions in condo listings.
  • The coincidental fact that the same realtor has been raising millions for the Housing Minister’s political party!

See more: http://vanparks.ca/2017/03/09/condopresaleloan/

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While we’re at it, here is a separate case being followed by SVPS, dealings at the Oakridge Centre.

Sold Actually (March 7, 2017)

This is about how on Friday March 3, 2017 an independent legal team of 4 representing a land owner, and BC Assessment, suggested they knew nothing about a land transfer completion of a property under assessment appeal.

In January our Society filed four assessment complaints. One complaint was that the approved Oakridge Development property was assessed far too low. It was and is assessed at about $140PBA (per buildable area). For comparison, many single family homes in the same area of Vancouver are assessed at about 4.5x that amount ($625PBA).

See more: http://vanparks.ca/2017/03/07/100-sold-dont-talk-about-it/

4 thoughts on “SVPS society shines light on shady deals with public funds & land at Emery Barnes Park

  1. This is off topic but in the past you have blogged about the Rona site at Kingsway and Knigjt 1503 Kingsway. It was sold to condo developer Cressey in 2013. But it’s been vacant since Rona shut down in October 2016. No signs of redevelopment. Any idea what’s going on?

  2. Thanks. And, for other readers, I meant to say “Kingsway and Knight”. As an aside, there is lots of development happening on Kingsway in the vicinity of the Rona site and lots now townhouses being built right in that area (Knight and 28th, on 23rd just west of Knight). There are also development signs on some old buildings as they await the wrecking ball.

    It is interesting that the huge Rona site is quiet despite being in the hands of a developer for the past 4 years.

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