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Lot bought for $25,000 earns charity $7.6 million

The saga of a lot bought 50 years ago in Surrey for $25,000 and expected to sell for more than $7.6 million to aid local charities underscores the jaw-dropping real estate appreciation in Metro Vancouver—Canada’s most expensive housing market.
In 1969, five former members of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) purchased five acres in the Guildford area of North Surrey and offered it to the Board at cost. Part of the site was used for the Board’s first headquarters. The remaining 3.5 acres was set aside to be sold at some point in the future, with the proceeds going to charity.
This month the Board put the site, now assessed at $7.61 million, on the market. The land has been transferred to FVREB’s Fraser Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.
The site, located at 10515 155 Street, is now surrounded by an established residential community and is in close proximity to a regional shopping hub, SkyTrain and the Trans-Canada Highway. It’s currently zoned RM-30 for multi-family development, which means it could be developed into about 88 townhouses. 
Given the size and location of the land, it is expected to attract numerous offers, said foundation chair and FVREB past president Charles Wiebe.
There is no asking price for the property. Wiebe explains, “The property is being offered for purchase by way of a confidential bidding process.” 
“It was a fluke,” said Jim Woodward, 91, and one of the original buyers 50 years ago. “When we bought the land, it was just a sea of stumps. We never in our wildest dreams thought it would be worth what it is today.”


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