The owners of a new luxury West End condo building that appeared to stand empty for months say it has only recently been completed and granted an occupancy permit, and they have yet to sell any of its units — which start at $5.5 million.
The Lu family owns the 17-storey curved tower at 1245 Harwood St. in the city’s West End, an eclectic downtown neighbourhood that holds a significant percentage of the city’s rental housing stock and social housing.
Several West End residents had emailed StarMetro with their concerns that the building looked like it was complete but empty, a hot-button topic in a city in the midst of a housing crisis. StarMetro got in touch with the owners, who were eager to show off the building and explain their plans for it.
The condos are coming online as Vancouver’s luxury market slows, but Sam Lu, the 27-year-old project manager of the project, said his family is in no hurry to sell the units. The family did not pre-sell the condos, which is almost unheard-of in Vancouver real estate. Developers routinely use pre-sales to secure bank financing for construction, according to industry sources.
“We want someone who can buy this, but also appreciate what we did,” Lu said in an interview, adding his family is looking for “neighbours” rather than just any buyer.
That’s because the family plans to reserve the top three floors for their own use, and Lu will likely continue to live in the family home, which is on UBC endowment lands.
Lu declined to say how much the family paid for the property or how much it cost to construct the building, but Postmedia reported the house was purchased for $2.7 million in 2004.
B.C. Assessment records show the property has an assessed value of $51,489,000, up from $24,947,000 in 2017. The land is currently worth $17,119,000 while the building is worth $34,370,000.
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