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Sechelt Development - The Wharf Place
04-11-2015, 01:05 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-18-2015, 10:27 PM by Skook.)
#18
RE: Sechelt Development - The Wharf Place
April 11, 2015 Update

Ask Skook and ye shall receive...eventually. This post is for georgie girl.

There is no doubt about it an update for The Wharf Place was long overdue. My last post was back at the end of August and much has changed since then. I had to go into the back issues of the Sunshine Coast Real Estate Guide (SCREG), the Coast Reporter Real Estate Weekly (RE Weekly) and my saved notes to refresh my memory - I think I have a handle on it all now.

I’ve been able to keep track of condo sales, but I needed to hunt for the status of the two remaining commercial units (#105, #106). The answer was in the October 2014 SCREG. SC Realtors Steve & Tracy Koss have handled this project since day one and their ad informed us all that by the end of September all Wharf Place commercial units were sold. I can do better than that though and say that both units likely sold between mid-August to mid-September and were likely bought together because Koss had both units listed for lease in the Sept 19, 2014 RE Weekly. The two units have been listed for lease every month since.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=1091]

As for the residential units, here is the sales progression according to Koss’ SCREG ads:

October, 2014: 50% Sold
November, 2014: 50% Sold
December, 2014/January 2015 (combined issue): 65% Sold
February 2015: 75% Sold
March 2015: 75% Sold
April 2015: 80% Sold

The best that I can come up with as of April 9, 2015 is 71% sold – definitively that is. My spreadsheet shows 17 units sold; six units currently listed for sale; and, one unit (#208) is a mystery – it was taken off the market sometime after August, I can’t find any sold info and it has not been relisted. My guess is that #208 is rented out since the developer did place a small number of units on the rental market in late-2013 and early 2014.

Now, before I post my updated spreadsheet I have interesting info to share. During the boom years around 2005 both the District of Sechelt and the Town of Gibsons adopted a policy of requiring developers to incorporate “affordable housing” units into their projects. For single family housing developments, this might equate into one or two lots with “affordable” duplexes/townhomes. For condo projects, a deal would be worked out between council and developer for one or two units to have more “affordable” pricing with the buyer going through the town to acquire the unit. With the collapse of real estate in 2007, many of those “affordable” homes never got built in subdivisions – I’m talking here of ‘The Ridge’ and ‘Tyler Heights’ in Sechelt as examples. After 2011, developers were going back to councils for rezoning because multi-family unit sales had collapsed and they wanted to replace those as yet to be built “affordable” units with single family homes. I think their argument likely went along the lines that there was now a glut of multi-family units leading to falling prices which in turn meant they could no longer cover their building costs.

The Wharf Place went to council, too. As part and parcel of its development zoning back in 2011, CSA signed a housing agreement with the DOS whereby it set aside Unit #202 - this 1bed/1bath, back facing unit has been indicated as “Sold” from the moment the project’s website went live. The unit was listed along with all units in September 2011 and carried a list price of $229,000; however, the Housing Agreement document seems to indicate (Item 1(i), pg 4) a “Maximum Price” to $200,000 including GST. As a result of this Housing Agreement, Unit 202 would carry an “affordable housing” covenant on its title. Early this year (likely January), the developer approached the DOS and asked for this covenant to be removed.

The town council discussed the issue “in camera” during a regular council meeting in February and the following resolution appeared on page 25 of the 2015-03-18 RC Agenda (Mar 18, 2015 Regular Council Agenda):

[Image: attachment.php?aid=1092]

My guess is the developer’s argument went along the lines that in three years there was not one “affordable housing” request and that due to market conditions there were now plenty of “affordable housing” units available in Sechelt listed well below that maximum covenant price. Council obviously agreed. You can view this Housing Agreement by going to...

DOS website > Document Library and scrolling down to '503, 2011 – CSA Developments Housing Agreement.pdf'

Unit 202 sold in February for $174,905 – possibly with the taxes included if “special conditions” were met; that is, if The Wharf Place website banner isn’t outdated.

Here is The Wharf Place spreadsheet (updated on April 9, 2015). It’s a biggy – click on the small image and it will open up in a new browser tab. You can save it if you wish by right clicking and choosing “Save Image As” or something similar depending on your browser. It would definitely be easier to handle if saved and then printed out.

(Note: outdated spreadsheet removed. Up-to-date spreadsheet (Dec 18, 2015) can be found here)

******************************

I’m going to conclude this post by having a little fun at someone else’s expense.

Back on Dec 7, 2014, a Wharf Place Craigslist ad appeared. It was for a furnished, 1 bedroom and the asking price was $1500/mth. I thought that was a bit much even if furnished and sure enough within a week the price was lowered to $1300/mth (first image below). It still didn’t move and just before Christmas the asking rent was dropped again to $1200/mth (middle image). On January 1st, it was relisted at that $1200/mth and I stopped following it after January 11th. I think it disappeared sometime in February.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=1094]

That ad above carried this simple description below and contact was to be made through the CL board:

Quote:Wharf Place , one bedroom, 14 feet ceilings, Ocean view. Furnished with brand new furniture, 40" TV. Washer, dryer, gas fireplace, lots of storage.

ROFLOL...note it says “Ocean view” – in your dreams maybe (or if you stand on the building’s roof and look off into the distance (check out the location map in my very first post on May 12, 2013 and see if you agree with me. Keep in mind the google map is more accurate than that little insert I added from the developer’s website.) Whether on the second or third floor, there is no ocean view from inside the 1 bedroom units. Correct me if I’m wrong, but...

Now, it wasn’t that ad above that was so amusing; it was the ad that joined it within a week. There was a connection between these units because they initially shared the same photos. One unit photo showed an older couple (as in definitely “retired”) sneaking into the edge of the kitchen area photo. This new ad was also for a furnished 1 bedroom and my thought was that these could be the 3rd floor 1 bedroom units (305, 307) sold on the exact same day – Nov 17, 2014.

So, this unit’s ad made its first appearance on Dec 14th asking for $1650/mth. Now, I already knew $1500/mth didn’t work for the unit above so it was just a matter of time. A few days later, new pics were added (the furniture had arrived, I guessed), but the rental price remained the same – 2nd pic from left. Just before Christmas, the rental price changed...ROFLOL...to $11,425!!. “Lordy,” I said, “We have ourselves a real newbie. Let see how long this takes to notice the typo.” Not ‘til Jan 11th!

[Image: attachment.php?aid=1095]

It’s the write-up included with this listing that I particularly enjoyed and it spoke volumes to me. Like I said I felt they were landlord newbies and that this might be their very first foray into real estate investing, too, given the sheer exuberance of the write-up. Here’s the wording and its progression over the weeks. I have added the bold highlighting to emphasize the pricing.

Dec 14th write-up:
Quote:Seeking a PIED À TERRE in the heart of the Sunshine Coast? Make this fully furnished one-bedroom condominium your residence in Sechelt. Featuring unusually high quality furnishings and decor, everything spanking new and outfitted for comfort. Nicely located near town centre, a close walk to everything. Spacious and airy high ceilings, a cozy gas fireplace and a view to the ocean. Ready to move in. More pictures available on request. Utilities, parking all included at $1650/month.

Dec 17th write-up:
Quote:Seeking a PIED À TERRE in the heart of the Sunshine Coast? Make this fully furnished one-bedroom condominium your residence in Sechelt. Share your Wharf Place address with only 24 others in a new and exclusive complex, nicely located near town centre, a close walk to everything. Featuring unusually high quality furnishings and decor, everything spanking new and outfitted for comfort. Spacious and airy high ceilings, a cozy gas fireplace and a view to the ocean. Ready to move in and veg out in your reclining chair in front of the fireplace. More pictures available on request. Utilities, parking all included at $1650/month.

Dec 22nd write-up:
Quote:Seeking accommodation in the heart of the Sunshine Coast? Make this fully furnished one-bedroom condominium your residence in Sechelt. Only 24 units in this new and exclusive complex, nicely located near town centre, a close walk to everything. Featuring unusually high quality furnishings and decor, everything spanking new and outfitted for comfort. Spacious and airy high ceilings, a cozy gas fireplace and a view to the ocean. Ready to move in and veg out in your reclining chair in front of the fireplace. Utilities, parking all included at $1425/month.

By Jan 11. 2015:
Quote:Fully furnished one-bedroom condominium in Sechelt. New and exclusive complex, nicely located near town centre, a close walk to everything. Featuring high quality furnishings and decor, everything new and outfitted for comfort. Spacious and airy high ceilings, cozy gas fireplace, view to the ocean. Ready to move in and veg out in your reclining chair in front of the fireplace. Parking included. Wi-fi, hydro hooked up, sign your own contract for use. $1225/month for 12 months' lease, $1325/month for six months' lease, $1425/month for 3 months' lease.

When I saw that last write-up with its 3 levels of rent, I gave up following. I figured this could take forever and I had better things to do. Now, this ad included both a land-line phone number and a cell number, so within minutes I knew who owned this unit. I think this ad disappeared in February, too.

As I said, there is a connection somehow between the two units. Maybe this couple owns both and they made a contest out it with each taking a unit and seeing who could rent it first at the highest rent. Or perhaps it’s a couple and offspring scenario with the son or daughter talking their parents into investing in a sure winner. Units 305 and 307 sold for a smidge past $170,000. The idea behind it being that when mom and dad are ready to downsize they have a condo to move to and in the meantime someone else is paying off the mortgage. Or, maybe the parents talked the kid into buying and helped with the down payment. My final scenario has two couples that are good friends each buying a unit and sharing pics.

Anyways, I was amused for the time it lasted.

******************************

This is my last big update for the Wharf Place. I am glad that sales finally picked up for the developer; although, one has to wonder if any profits have been realized given the price drops, promos, commissions and time span. My research left me with the impression this was a first development project – it may well be the last, too.


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Messages In This Thread
Sechelt Development - The Wharf Place - by Skook - 05-12-2013, 03:51 PM
RE: Sechelt Development - The Wharf Place - by Skook - 04-11-2015, 01:05 PM

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