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May 22, 2019

A look at a Vancouver building project that is targeted at billionaires



As reported in The Globe and Mail, a Vancouver developer has built an ultra-exclusive, three-unit, prime beach-front property in English Bay aimed at the international buyer who has so much extra cash to spare that they won’t care that it won’t make any money.

It is, he promises, the most luxurious apartment building in Vancouver.

“The perfect thing is, roughly, how many billionaires are in the world?” developer Stanley Dee asks rhetorically. “The Forbes list is almost 3,000. Those are guys with public companies that they can measure. There are as many guys who stay quiet and low-key, and so we think there are more than 6,000. Of those, how many have been to Vancouver and want a place here? There will be enough. We are only going to reach 1 or 2 or 3 per cent of these guys.

“A lot of them have five or six homes around the world, and they want [a home] here when they get here that is well kept, hassle-free, no worries and it’s safe, and they can keep art and things there without any trouble, and they would prefer to spend less money than more. It’s the perfect pied-à-terre for the wealthy.”

Mr. Dee, who is founder of Deecorp, says his family-run company is selling units in their Eventide property at 1460 Bute St., at the corner of Beach Avenue, as 30-year leasehold properties, which means Deecorp will maintain ownership. It’s similar to paying one’s rent upfront, but without the conventional landlord.

The lease is not renewable, so it will revert back to the owner at the end of the term. A big advantage for the buyer, he said, is that it skirts the property-transfer tax (PTT) because it’s a 30-year lease. The property-transfer tax is 20 per cent for foreign buyers; property leases that are 30 years or less are generally exempt from the tax.

“The main thing is, the buyer doesn’t need to speculate, the buyer gets certainty and a high level of service and the side benefit is they save a lot of taxes.”

Mr. Dee says that if the units get hit with the school surtax on expensive properties, he will help share in the expense. The school surtax is 0.2 per cent on properties more than $3-million and 0.4 per cent on homes more than $4-million. Other perks include not having to deal with strata councils and having far more control over one’s building, including who gets to live there. Mr. Dee says they are screening buyers for suitability, similar to the way an exclusive New York co-op screens residents.

Keep reading in The Globe and Mail


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