Squamish and the Haunted Sales Centers

Nothing like the view from the ground.  Clockbike posted this roundup of what’s happening just north of Vancouver:

Squamish resident here. I would like to tell you all a spooky story, grab your marshmallows and gather round, I’ll point my bear flashlight up at my face to create dramatic effect. I call this story: “The Haunted Sales Centers.”

It is ~2005, in a rainy windy city, upon the water. There lied the Squamish Oceanfront Development. A plan to create a residential neighborhood with marina, small industrial jobs love and flowers. Fast forward to today: the district is now $6.57 Million in debt. Source PDF.

Surely we have accomplished something magnificent for our downtown core, this is a story of the results of 7 years of hard work.

Here we have the Public Information Center and Site Office for the Squamish Oceanfront Development on a Sunny Tuesday afternoon. Let me tell you, this place is packed with hot a- oh who am I kidding. There’s a single vehicle for the representative staffing the building, who left early today: locking the door as they walked out.

So what was the Squamish Oceanfront?

      

It was a log-sort for the Lumber Industry. Now it’s not to say the Lumber Industry has been booming in recent years, but Industry has taken a large hit. In 2008 Industrial building permits were at $4,755,000. In 2009: $33,000. Before the Olympics were even over with, Industrial growth had petered out. With a current record low at $14,000 building permits in 2011, hardships come from more than just an over inflated housing sector. Perhaps we should laud the housing sector for keeping the community going. Source PDF.

The Park House, maybe it was for the best that the economy stalled right before they could get started.

      

Unlike these lots.

Then we have Red Point, a sales center directly off the highway on your way to whistler, across from the KFC.

Speaking of KFC.


They’re out of business too. Right off the highway no less.

And behind KFC? Another proposed residential development that went nowhere.

Back into the downtown core, we have yet another sales center on the water, decrepit and abandoned. The rear of the building revealed the homeless and broken glass.

      
Turning around to look across the street there’s Fields – which is also going out of business from lack of business.

But I saved the best for last.


Aqua was stopped in it’s tracks, went into receivership sale twice and failed to complete the construction project. Even now you can see the foliage growing through the re-bar. This was a story of a local economy which focused too much on residential development and forgot to support industry and commercial.

Stores have fled North to the community of Garibaldi Highlands where the rich live. But when the Canadian Housing Bubble as a whole collapses, what happens to them?

__________________________________________
A big thanks to clockbike for all images and text.

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Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

The noose tightens!

Clockbike
Member
Clockbike

Well I’ll send a thanks right back to VCI for putting me on the front page. If I find, (or am directed to) other interesting locations. Then I will be happy to take pictures and report what I see there as well.

Clockbike
Member
Clockbike

(That is to say, if it is within an area between Pemberton and Horseshoe Bay)

VMD
Member

@Clockbike:
Thank you Clockbike, I have taken the liberty of translating your masterpiece and uploading it to a major Chinese RE forum, hope it’s ok!

Meanwhile, RBC Mortgage Specialist Jason Wang just urged all those who can only afford a 30-year-amort (but not 25-year-amort) to secure a mortgage pre-approval ASAP. He is somehow “sensing” a change to 25-year max amortization period soon.

Garth also is hinting at some form of mortgage rule change coming soon (and tells readers to check his twitter feeds for imminent update – so far nothing though)

http://www.westca.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=430709/lang=schinese.html

SunBlaster
Guest
SunBlaster

Wow unreal, are you sure this is 1 hour drive from Down Town Vancouver?!? It can’t be! There must be too much land available in Squamish, I can’t explain this any other way!

I wonder who lost money on all these developments.

Clockbike
Member
Clockbike

@VMD:
The more the merrier, so this is what it feels like to be a reporter? Maybe I should try a change of careers.

Also, I noticed the second source PDF link wasn’t working. So here it is again for anyone inclined.

http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/Files/3251b2db-3734-46bd-92e5-1790a3504a35/BuildingPermitsbyCommunity.pdf

SunBlaster
Guest
SunBlaster

Maybe PanicSale KOLA guy from previous (http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/van/reo/2860586828.html) post can sell his two untis a @ Harbor Center and lend money to City of Squamish?

SunBlaster
Guest
SunBlaster

Late night post spam 🙂

Found this gem, if anyone wants to move from Vancouver, simply trade your house for two shop bazar in beginning of Sabze Maydoon Bazaar in Tehran

http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/van/reo/2882613280.html

Bilbo Bloggins
Guest
Bilbo Bloggins

Looks like a great place to film The Walking Dead.
No need to close streets or make sure there’s no one wandering around.
Deserted!

Bilbo Bloggins
Guest
Bilbo Bloggins

@SunBlaster:
Gee I wonder what it will be worth when they are locked in full fledge war with Israel in a few months?

Bilbo Bloggins
Guest
Bilbo Bloggins

@SunBlaster:
Oh the might Harbour Green 3…
Looks like someone got margin called!

registered
Member
registered

Looks a little like Detroit with rain. I had occasion to assist parties seeking commercial space a couple times in the Squamish – Whistler corridor over the last ten years. I haven’t been in the area for a year and a half and that’s unrecognizable. I’m hearing similar stories from Whistler.
Five years ago landlords insisted on your first born because Squamish was gentrifying and soon to be the new centre of the universe. It’s sad to see that happen to the community, many I knew found it the ideal mix of outdoor life and Vancouver access. It would be nice if politicians took a more critical view of developer impact in the future but as long as they’re holding out money I’m not holding my breath.

cgh
Guest
cgh

@fixie guy: Actually, house prices are still crazy in Squamish, despite all the failed condo developments. Just who is buying these $500,000+ homes and what they do for a living is a bit of a mystery.

jumpin in
Guest
jumpin in
patriotz
Member

@jumpin in:
Versus Seattle character:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1216-9th-Ave-W-Seattle-WA-98119/48986629_zpid/

But I thought Seattle was the home of grunge? 🙂

mattymatt123
Guest
mattymatt123

got an uncle in Sqamish who’s had his house on the RE market for about a year. Over priced, empty and lonely!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@jumpin in: RE: The new definition of “character.”

A friend of mine that lives in the 45th/Ontario area claims tear downs around there are going for $1.5Mil (last year anyway)…so that character tear down seems like a relatively good deal at $1.2, considering the area…seems to indicate declining prices to me.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I think you can find just as many belly up developments in Metro Vancouver. Maybe more in Vancouver get bailed out by new developers but lots go belly up. To name a few: Jameson House, The Ritz Carlton, Evelyn in West Vancouver, King George Station (5 high rises in Surrey bankrupt twice I think), and the Olympic Village.

Extremely rich Van house owner.
Guest

Squash city is just a remote reserve they ain’t interest in it unless your government build a pipline and Naval base there to serve our national interest after those two projects have been completed our Navy will move in and SQuash city will be resurrected as the bright spot in NorthWest.

jesse
Member

@patriotz: “Last sold: July 09 1999 for $750,000”

That’s 3% annualized gain assuming no renovations and it looks like there were.

Arthur Fonzarelli
Guest
Arthur Fonzarelli
Squamish is an interesting market. I have been wanting to buy a townhouse or detached in the Vancouver area since 2007 but have been holding out for the correction, which I am convinced is starting to happen now. I’m nearly 40 and now have two young kids and still rent, make nearly double the average household income, but can barely afford a two bedroom condo in Van at these prices. We have been looking at Squamish detached for the past couple of months, because I rock climb and love the outdoors, and prcies are at least within reach even with a bit of a rate jump. My commute from Commercial Dr area to downtown is already 30-40 minutes, so an extra 20 minutes is doable (if expensive for gas). While prices for detached in Squamton are still high and likely… Read more »
Turkey
Guest
Turkey

I’m surprised nobody has pointed out this pair of posts from Frances Bula:

“What happens when your Vancouver condo gets old and you have to decide whether to pull the plug?”

“Should You Sell Your Vancouver Condo Today?”

To spare you the uncertainty, the prognosis ain’t good.

gordholio
Member

They ran a disorganized RE piece on Global’s noon news hour just now. It bounced all over the place, but seemed to conclude we’re entering a correction phase.

When the peice ended, the two talking heads (one of whom is Sophie Lui, who I must admit I don’t hate) took it as an opportunity to discuss just how freaking expensive it is to live here. They seemed extremely earnest, and it was good to hear them bring up stuff like the Economist’s recent findings that YVR is indeed Number One – in unaffordabilty, that is. Ultimately, it was not a good 5 minutes for bulls or speculators or the RE industry.

Now I’m waiting breathlessly for the upcoming Sarah Daniels RE segment. Wonder how she’ll pimp up *this* pig?

RJ
Guest
RJ
Arthur, I’d say the market in detached home specifically currently seems to be slightly leaning towards a buyers market (ie the better choices for homes are selling at or near asking price), things are moving, but not too fast. You might get a deal on a place thats been on the market for a year for example. For the commute, I carpool from Brackendale to the Broadway area so only drive once or twice a week. It takes 1hr in the morning 1:15 on the way home. Its 50 min to downtown, 1 hr home. The drive is easy, occasional bad roads or road closures, maybe only once or twice a year. Positives for me is living in the mountains, negatives would be getting home to the family an hour or so later every day. lifestyle can’t be beat we… Read more »
DP
Guest
DP

Back from the hockey game in 50 min last evening… Squamish is perfect example of what you get when you trade industry for bike trails and mountain climbing, add a couple of spoons of envioronmental sense, add a couple of absentee owners, violate zoning when it comes to single family detached being rented to multi-people, encourage high density and let the developers with off-shore money tell tales of the future.

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