A Vancouver heritage home associated with the horticulturist who landscaped UBC is back on the market.
The former residence of Frank Buck listed on April 8 with an asking price of $ 4.5 million.
Buck and his family owned the property at 2403 West 37th Avenue for nearly a century.
The home is one of the top-ranked properties in the Vancouver Heritage Register.
It’s classified as category A, which the register defines as a property that “represents the best examples of a style or type of building”.
Or as in the case of 2403 West 37th Avenue, it “may be associated with a person or event of significance”.
Following the death of an heir, the Kerrisdale residence was put up for sale in 2017 for $ 3,599,000.
In October of the same year, the home sold for $ 2.7 million.
A Vancouver Sun. report about said 2017 listing recalled that Buck bought the Vancouver real estate in 1920 probably for about $ 5,000.
After the 2017 sale by Buck’s heirs, the property returned to the market in February 23, 2021 with a listing price of $ 3,080,000.
It sold on March 24 of the said year for $ 2,980,000.
This means with new April 8, 2022 listing, 2403 West 37th Avenue is again in play after a little over a year.
The listing price of $ 4.5 million represents a $ 1,520,000 premium over the property’s last sold price.
The tag also marks about the same top-up over its 2022 assessment of $ 2,953,000.
One may wonder why this Vancouver real estate became much more expensive.
It’s something to do with the property’s development potential.
The seller’s agency, Macdonald Realty, has pitched the offering to a select class of buyers, and it’s not ordinary homeowners.
“This is calling out to developers who are interested in a lovely boutique 4 unit townhouse project,” the listing states.
The text notes that a development permit has been issued by the City of Vancouver to redevelop the property.
The multiple conversion dwelling or MCD project involves dividing the heritage home into four residences, plus a coach house at the back.
It’s a development that “takes the uncertainty in negotiating with the City out of the way”.
However, there seems to be a bit of a catch.
The listing notes a “few prior to’s” in the issuance of a development permit for the Vancouver real estate.
A check online with applications before city hall indicates that there are a lot of conditions set for the issuance of a development permit.
These were outlined in a January 26, 2022 “prior-to-letter” by city staffer Mary Tuiza to Diamond Group Architecture Inc.
As Tuiza explained, the “application has been approved to alter, add and convert this existing two-storey plus basement, Heritage A”.
The “permit may be issued upon completion of the revisions and conditions”.
One example is “design development to improve access to natural light, views and privacy for the East and West adjacent neighbors”.
Another is the “provision on landscape drawings of landscape features intended to create bird friendly design”.
The applicant also needs to “improve the rear yard open space by increasing the building separation between the main house and the infill” to a minimum of 16 feet.
There are a lot more, and the city has set a definite timeline.
As the city’s letter stated, “if these conditions have not been complied with on, or before July 26, 2022 this Development Application may stand refused”.
Online, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation describes Buck as a former UBC horticulture professor and campus landscape architect.
“Buck oversaw the landscape design of the UBC Point Gray campus, in accordance with Sharp and Thompson’s overall design for the campus,” the VHF recalls.
Sharp was George T. Sharp, partner of the architecture firm Sharp and Thompson.
Buck’s home was built next door to Sharp’s home at 2427 West 37th Avenue.
Sharp’s residence was constructed in 1911. The future home of Buck was done two years later, based on the VHF account.
“Buck and Sharp both served on the Point Gray Advisory Town Planning Commission from 1923-1929 and Buck is responsible for street tree planting initiatives that took place in the 1920s in Point Gray,” the foundation also relates.
“His legacy lives on in the many beautiful tree lined streets in the area, and a sports field and memorial garden at UBC named for him,” the VHF adds.
As for Buck’s home, it’s “sheltered by mature trees and hedges, cementing the house’s close relationship with the environment, a key aspect of Arts and Crafts buildings”.
“The steeply pitched roof, cedar shingle siding, discreet entry with covered porch and leaded glass windows made up of small panes are also Arts and Crafts features,” the VHF explains.