Cue tiny violins: luxury rental project frozen
June 11, 2020
For some, the reaction to the plight of a luxury home builder in Vancouver may be the playing a tiny violin. But for Deecorp, the problem of renting what are perhaps the most exclusive homes in the city is real.
A unique lease arrangement and COVID-19 have kept targeted tenants away from Eventide, a recently completed, multimillion-dollar development.
Eventide, a four-storey apartment building with just three units, including a stunning 2,900-square-foot penthouse overlooking English Bay, is covered by a non-renewable 30-year lease.
This shelters the property from B.C.’s 20 per cent foreign-home buyer tax and the provincial property-transfer tax, but also makes it difficult to lease.
“This is ultra-high-end, ultra luxury,” said developer Stanley Dee.
Dee, founder of Deecorp, said his family-run company would like to sell the entire waterfront property under a 30-year leasehold with Deecor maintaining ownership.
“But very few people are interested in that,” he said.
Now, ideally, he would like some group to lease Eventide on a 30-year commercial lease.
“We also had some film people looking, and they were interested, but now, with the COVID situation, they are not allowed back into Canada,” Dee said.
Dee was reluctant to discuss prices, but he said Eventide’s value would likely surpass the $2,000-per-square-foot price of Vancouver’s top condominiums.
BC Assessment values the penthouse alone at more than $6.6 million.
Eventide suites are not vacant, which means the owners aren’t subject to the City of Vancouver’s empty home tax of 1 per cent of the property’s value. Trusted caretakers are currently living in the units, at a nominal rent.
Dee said the ideal end game is a single long-term leaseholder taking the entire building but, “with the right client and the right terms, we could be adaptive.” There is also an option of a sale and buy-back arrangement, he explained.