The Vacant Lot of Versailles, Richmond.

The Vacant Lot of  Versailles

– from ‘E’ via e-mail to VREAA 22 Mar 2013. Thanks to ‘E’, who also wrote:
My husband snapped this pic at 16500 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, on his ride home from work yesterday. He dubbed it The Vacant Lot of Versailles. If you squint and tilt your head just the right way, you can almost see it.

47 responses to “The Vacant Lot of Versailles, Richmond.

  1. Just curious… Is there any correlation (inverse relationship) with real estate prices and traffic to this blog? I’ve been noticing what seems to be more comments per post, so I was wondering if that indicated higher traffic lately as well.

    Perhaps an analysis of bear blog traffic in relation to prices or sales would be an anecdote in and of itself?

  2. In 4013, historians and archaeologists alike, will be searching for the fabled Atlantis near the 49th parallel off the coast of Maple Ridge. What they will find submerged will be blueberry farms whose peasants were crippled by a gold fever epidemic and later finished off as global warming took hold.

    • but what will they conclude of the enormous sealed cache of modestly sheer taiwanese black stretch pants? … 1/3 of which were slightly used? … bend-over testing could become the best thing that happens this year … imagine lulu analysts who ‘must’ perform in-depth research on whether to buy-sell-hold … pffft! …

      unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the holy ghost sent down from heaven … which things the angels desire to look into … pffft!

      ps. may have gotten lost on avatar trail … however, recalled this … – lol!

  3. Royal indeed

  4. This is in the eastern part of Richmond. This is some of the best farm land in the country. I do not believe there should be any residential development in this part of Richmond.

    • UBCghettodweller

      The whole building houses on sand thing also applies here.

      If some bearded dudes running around the desert thousands of years ago figured out that engineering concept, it would be good to take note.

    • My own position is that, given the vastness of our country, we should not be excessively precious about using land.
      We should use it wisely, and we should protect some of it, but we really should also be using it. We wouldn’t want use of land to be artificially restrained, for no good reason.

      • Yellow Helicopter

        Disagree with you on this one Vreaa. Food security is a growing issue, and will becom even more so in the years and decades ahead. Not sure how much you know about farming / agriculture, but less than 1-2% of the world’s land mass is arable land. It should a pod must be preserved.

      • Yellow Helicopter

        Argg, autocorrect.

      • Cyril Tourneur

        I agree. If prime agricultural land has more value to the owner with a crop of condos on it rather than blueberries what does that tell you?

      • Some of the ALR lots in Richmond are getting a bit silly.

      • There might be diff. opinions on the need to preserve the ALR but I basically disagree with the main arguments that are used to take it for the housing development – that we are in need of more high density housing – esp. in light of the massive vacant condos rates. I do not feel that it is justified to destroy the arable land in order for the speculators to hoard more units, it just means to sacrifice the land for nothing.

    • Agreed. I do farm, an unusual product, and am able to sell at retail market price – most farmers go broke supporting the middle man. Even under my circumstances it is almost impossible to make a profit. Hence farm land sitting idle. But it should still be preserved. It is true Canada is a vast country but only a fraction of a percentage is good arable land.

      • … and the rest all appears to be defined as invaluable ‘watershed’, or invaluable ‘wilderness’, or irreplaceable ‘heritage’ land, or… you get the drift. Let’s use just a small fraction of the vast country for human activity.

      • Ralph Cramdown

        Geez, vreea, if people could just build anywhere, politicians wouldn’t be quite so popular with developers, would they? Follow the money on that one.

      • Yeah, Ralph, that’d be one of the points.
        Many of the restrictions appear to be artificial.

      • Agree, Vreaa. And I would add that the best ways to preserve natural land is to give it economic use. Take forests, for example. Demand for wood products = incentive to keep land wooded rather than, say, converting it to farmland.

      • Well then lets just poke hobbit hole housing in the sand cliffs of UBC, cut down Stanley Park for row housing, plant hi-rises right up to the waterline along Kits Beach and develop homes up the steep face of Grouse Mountain.

        Of course I do get your point but I can also appreciate why some real estate land is also off limits. The ALR was a brilliant idea if only developers had not found ways to skirt its basic premise which was to protect farmlands.

        Some regulation is valid. No question about it. That is why we do not have shanty towns made of corrugated steel for poor immigrants along the docks nor cardboard villages full of UBC students on the endowment lands.

        What is the argument here anyway? That land usage restrictions are a bad thing?

      • Yellow Helicopter

        Agreed, Farmer.

  5. In other news “VacantProperties”, DearReaders… the G&M’s GaryMason has deigned to provide us with this morning’s Zen and Quote ‘O TheDay!…

    “Whether we like to admit it or not, Vancouver is an urban resort whose value mostly resides in its real estate and not much else.” – GaryMason/OpED

    [G&M] – The ‘great unoccupied condo scandal’? Get over it!

    …”Are there people from China and other points east buying condos in the city? Of course. Many of these people are filthy rich and treat Vancouver as the gorgeous playground that it primarily is. These are global cosmocrats who make their money in the real business centres of the world – Hong Kong, London, New York – and then drop in here as a respite from the hurly-burly of their hectic lives. Some bought condos for their kids to stay in while they attended school here. In some cases, those children have moved on but the apartment remains.

    In most cases, these wealthy purchasers are buying high-end units with golden views of the city, posh pied-à-terres that are out of reach for most of us. And they pay the requisite taxes to the city to maintain them. To which I say: What is the problem?”…

    [NoteToEd: The comments are particularly ‘entertaining’.]

    • Comments were funny. Apparently Mr. Mason has to hit the books: he got schooled.

      • Thanks for the Gary Mason link, Nem.
        Once the steam coming out of my ears settles, I’ll see if I have the strength to headline the article.
        And agree re the comments being worth the read.

      • Spectacular comments section. Even the polite corner of #vanRE was all over him also. For example: @garossino and @elam101

    • Ralph Cramdown

      It’s The Sweet Smell of Success. Want to live in the city, pay taxes and afford a place of your own from your wages? JJ Mason will plant parochialism and xenophobia in your pocket, and have one of Little League Chu’s men bust you.

    • BonusZen!… If you like your irony ladled on TripleThick, DearReaders… you’ll love this one…

      [LAT] – Wealthy, business-savvy Mexican immigrants transform Texas city

      …SAN ANTONIO — The Mexican businessmen in Rolexes and Burberry ties meet on the north side of town, at Cielito Lindo Restaurant, or at new neighboring country clubs. Their wives frequent Neiman Marcus, Tiffany’s and Brooks Brothers at the nearby mall. Their children park Porsches with Mexican license plates in the student lots at Reagan High School.

      …The newcomers — nicknamed “migrantes fresas,” or rich migrants — are conspicuous even in this largely Latino city. Sociologists compare the “Mexodus” of professionals to the wave of exiles who fled to Texas after the Mexican Revolution in 1910, or wealthy Cubans who decamped to South Florida after the revolution in 1959.

      …The number of international passengers traveling to San Antonio International Airport increased 132% last year from the year before, and the airport added two new carriers to Mexico. Flight schools are struggling to meet the demand for pilots to fly Mexicans whose private jets fill the runways of southern Texas. Pepe Hurtado says many of the clients at his San Antonio luxury car business store their cars in hangars at the airport when they jet back to Mexico.

      …Newcomers settle in Sonterrey because they hear from friends that the local public schools are highly rated, they have business connections in the area and see billboards in Mexico advertising the gated communities. Some have difficulty adjusting, particularly wives and children accustomed to cooks and chauffeurs. “We are used to being served and surrounded by help,” said Arnaiz, whose wife traded two live-in maids for a Mexican American housekeeper who comes twice a week.

      …But in Sonterrey, as in Mexico, gates don’t guarantee protection from the cartels. Last year, one of Arnaiz’s neighbors, fellow newcomer Fernando Alejandro Cano Martinez, was charged with laundering money for the Gulf cartel. Two brothers from Guadalajara were charged with using north side homes and businesses as a front for cartel money, which financed their Learjet, an Italian restaurant and other investments.

      “We’re seeing ‘Miami Vice’-type money laundering — shipments of currency and wire transfers from international organizations,” said Michael Lemoine, a special agent with the Internal Revenue Service in San Antonio.”…

      [NoteToEd: Tell me again, what was all that fuss about TheAlamo?”]

    • Interesting post Nem. Thanks. As I have pointed out before, the commentary on this site and ones similar to it have gone mainstream and this is reflected in both the article by Mr Mason and the many comments that follow. Vreaa has become something of a lightening rod despite the fact no attribution is given. Our words get repeated elsewhere so we do need to be responsible with our comments. (except in my case because as you know I am quite immature!)

      • “Vancouver was crowned the winner in the WWF Earth Hour City Challenge”…I would say that it won this award for something that it actually didn’t – more lights were off than in any other city not because the people switched the lights off but just because we have more unoccupied units than any other city and these lights are always off – we have an Earth Hours every night!

    • [#BonusBonus’Zen’]

      [CBC] – City landmarks worldwide go dark for Earth Hour

      …”People in more than 7,000 cities and towns across the planet turned off lights for an hour from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time….

      …Coming out on top, Vancouver was crowned the winner in the WWF Earth Hour City Challenge out of 66 participating cities from Canada, India, Italy, the U.S., Norway and Sweden.”…

      [NoteToEd: Presumably, the WWF checked first to ascertain whether there were any lights on… prior to them being ‘turned off’?]

      • No lights on in Coal Harbour. Hooray….we are the winners!

        If only it felt good to be number one in the darkness.

      • Thanks for the intriguing link, Nem.

        It doesn’t seem Vancouver won anything for something that it actually did, so much as for talking the talk:
        “The WWFund, which is the driving force behind Earth Hour, said it bestowed the ‘capital’ honour on Vancouver in recognition of the city’s efforts to reduce pollution that causes climate change.
        The city also received the highest number of online votes in a People’s Choice ballot, and the city’s government passed an official “Earth Hour 2013″ proclamation.”

        Vancouver leads Canada as Earth Hour ‘capital’, CBC, 23 Mar 2013

      • “Vancouver was crowned the winner in the WWF Earth Hour City Challenge”…I would say that it won this award for something that it actually didn’t – more lights were off than in any other city not because the people switched the lights off but just because we have more unoccupied units than any other city and these lights are always off – we have an Earth Hours every night!

  6. Hmmm. Not sure that suggesting 2 single family dwellings on 9 acres of fertile land is no good reason for restraint. Am I allowed to use the word “ecodensity”, or do I have to get Sam Sullivan’s permission first?

  7. 4SlicesofCheese

    Recommended by a coworker just this week. There are more closet bears out there than we know.

    • Vancouver Hipster

      Ideas for a Vancouver REALTOR.
      Airbrush the above house on the 9 acres and post on MLS for 38 million

    • Thanks, Roy….great link from Global TV.

      This is what ZIRP hath wrought, I reckon. Imagine if interest rates were at a “normal” level…in a “normal” economy…..would this level of inventory just be left sitting around gathering dust?

      “Million dollar homes”….ha-ha-ha!

      Thanks, Carney! You are the indeed the Greatest Central Banker of All Time!!

    • “Homes that once sold for $3 Million, now available at a half a million less.”

      16.7% and counting.

  8. Great deal! I gonna buy three, my Sister gonna buy….

    Amanda…? Amanda?

    • “For your convenience and ShoppingPleasure, ValuedCustomers’ purchasing ten items or less are encouraged to experience our new Fast&Friendly ExpressLanes™…”

      [NoteToEd: Essentially, the CentralPremise of the GaryMasons of this world is, “It sucks not to have money. So what? Deal with it.” Needless to say, there are innumerable structural impediments to ‘dealing with it’ which advantage some actors to the detriment of others… Notwithstanding that, a legion of ArdentAccordionists – even Soto Voce – may yet accomplish things wildy beyond the ken/repertoire of even the most talented virtuosos of ‘TheMightyWurlizter’ in full Fortissimo.]

  9. Realtor behavior

    I believe those “global cosmocrats who make their money in the real business centres of the world – Hong Kong, London, New York – and then drop in here as a respite from the hurly-burly of their hectic lives. Some bought condos for their kids to stay in while they attended school here. In some cases, those children have moved on but the apartment remains” cannot be those apartments left empty. And I don’t see a problem here as home-owners like these will definitely have their apartments leased out through “professionals” like realtors and to make sure their apartments are rented out, through accountants to make sure the maintenance and tax are paid, and local people get apartments for rent. The main problem for the local community are people who take RE for speculation that houses and apartments are left empty for huge profits!
    It can be as worse if there can be one day, people speculate on fresh air you breath in!

  10. The cosmocrats is the elephant in the room.

    An elephant that’s jumped into a small watering hole and fundamentally altering the nature of what he though he was getting into.

  11. No worries. If we’re a mere 8 years behind the US, soon this unsold piece of Richmond arcerage (along with other pieces) will soon have a bubble of their own.

    (Yes, a “farmland bubble”. I kid you not. Richmond, the new Iowa.)

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