British Columbia

Vancouver Grandview-Woodland neighbours approached for bulk sell off

'This is really a bummer, because this is going to lead to the rapid transformation of our neighbourhood'

Christopher Pavsek on street

Home owners in Vancouver's Grandview-Woodland worry they are being pressured to sell in the face of a new development plan for the area. (CBC)



Neighbours in Vancouver's Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood are concerned over a letter they have received from Colliers International about their property values as they wait on a new density plan for their community.

"It doesn't say they want to buy our properties, but it does say they want to talk to us about the impacts — the prospects for our property values," said Grandview-Woodland home owner Christopher Pavsek.

He bought in the neighbourhood five years ago for a particular reason: "Its character as a family-oriented neighbourhood, friendly to pedestrians and friendly to those who want to live in their homes."

Christopher Pavsek in Grandview-Woodland

Grandview-Woodland home owner Christopher Pavsek says he bought in the area for the lifestyle, not as an investment. (CBC)

He and several other home owners received the letter from Colliers, which specializes in assembling properties and selling them to a developer, on Oct. 20, the day after Canada's federal election. It came as the city is developing a plan to deal with growth in Grandview-Woodland.

The city's web site says that "once complete, the new plan will ensure that future growth in the area will meet the needs of the community for the next 30 years."

That could mean more condominiums and townhouses and that's where Colliers comes in — it's talking to homeowners about selling their properties together to developers to boost selling prices.

Pavsek doesn't like it.

"This is really a bummer, because this is going to lead to the rapid transformation of our neighbourhood," he said.

Ian Sheffield Grandview-Woodland

Ian Sheffield is worried about the pressure to the sell his home after new density plans are revealed by the city. (CBC)

The concern is echoed by Ian Sheffield who also lives in the community. He bought his home two years ago and has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in renovations.

"It's supposed to be our forever home," he said. "It would be sad and I think it would ruin this part of the neighbourhood."

The city says plans for the area are still months away from going to council, and that letters such as the one from Colliers International are highly speculative.

And even if high density redevelopment happens, no one is forcing homeowners to sell, but that's not the reassurance some residents are looking for.

"What happens if you have a bunch of people around you who sell beside you and now you've got a six-storey building there, would I sell?" Sheffield said "I don't know, you feel bullied almost."

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