A prime 3.5-acre development site is for sale in the Guildford area of Surrey B.C. with proceeds targeted to support the Fraser Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.
The story of the property dates back to 1969 when five Realtors – Rod Archer, Arnold Jeffs, Ian Macnaughton, Reg Titus and John Woodward – privately purchased the land, calling it “the Back 40”. They owned it for a number of years but years ago sold it to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) at cost, requesting that it be used to benefit people in Surrey and the Fraser Valley.
In 2016, FVREB members voted to sell the Back 40 and use the proceeds to fund a new charitable foundation, the Fraser Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation. The proceeds of this sale will allow the foundation to support organizations and people in need in North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, the Langleys, Abbotsford and Mission in perpetuity.
Woodward originally found the property and he was president of the real estate board when the acquisition was made.
“I was driving down 104th Avenue down in Surrey heading towards the new freeway and I spotted a little homemade for sale sign on a stump on the left hand side of the road as I was heading up. So, I took the number down and gave the lady in Vancouver who owned the property a call. I fully disclosed who I was and said that we were interested. We negotiated a purchase with her,” says Woodward.
The vacant and sought-after land, at 10515 155 St. in Surrey, is described as having excellent development potential and exceptional access to shopping, recreation, parks and transit.
“This is a passion of mine,” says Woodward. “Over the years, I have been pushing for a gift of this property. We never anticipated at the time that we acquired it that it would ever have any substantive value. But it’s increased enormously. It’s probably worth $4 or $5 million.”
He says the property was originally purchased for about $39,000.
Based on the permitted density in the RM-30 zone, this site could be developed with an 88-unit townhouse development with a gross building area of 172,782 square feet. An average size of 1,963 square feet per townhouse is anticipated, says the brochure.
“The property is irregular in shape, totaling 3.588 acres with approximately 940 feet of frontage along 155 Street.”
The property is currently zoned RF, Single-Family Residential.
Macnaughton said the vision was to sell the land and set up an ongoing charitable foundation where the capital can be preserved. Whatever income it makes can contribute to the community. “The whole thing from the beginning was making a contribution to the board and now the board is making a contribution beyond,” he says.
Charles Wiebe, chair of the charitable foundation that was formed about two years ago, says money from the sale will go into a trust account, which will earn interest that will go to various charities in the Fraser Valley area in the name of Realtors.
“The foundation will be made up of people within the FVREB area and we’ll be focusing on charities within (the area), which goes from White Rock right through to Abbotsford and Mission. They’ll be looking at requests from various organizations to see how they can best help based on the funds that are available to us within the foundation on a yearly basis,” says Wiebe.
The listing says Surrey is one of the fastest growing communities in B.C. and Guildford is one of its most established, sought-after neighbourhoods. In 2016, the population of Guildford was 60,745.
The property is being offered for sale through a confidential bidding process. All offers to purchase can be submitted no later than 4 p.m. on April 30. For supporting materials and/or to submit offers, contact: Darcie Rosenberg, Executive Assistant, 604-930-7604 or [email protected], or write c/o Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, 15463 104 Ave., Surrey, B.C. V3R 1N9