Ben Eoin Marina site appraised at $700,000
Post submitted access to information request
SYDNEY — The appraisal submitted to Enterprise Cape Breton Corp. in support of a funding application for the Ben Eoin Marina set the market value of the site where the marina was to be built at $700,000.
The Cape Breton Post submitted a request to ECBC under the Access to Information Act in March for the appraisal. The document was released last week.
The appraisal was prepared by William Martheleur of Mackey Appraisals Ltd. in Sydney, which is a member of the Nova Scotia Real Estate Appraisers Association. The document is dated Aug. 20, 2010.
The appraisal looked at the three parcels of land fronting the Bras d’Or Lake that together were used for construction of the marina. The registered owner of the land was Ben Eoin Golf Club Ltd.
ECBC announced in October that it provided a grant of $4 million for the marina construction. It will open this year. The total value of the project was $4.8 million. The financial contribution of the community group behind the project has been pegged at $800,000, which was said to be the value of the land.
The land where the marina was built was purchased more than a decade earlier as part of the effort to construct The Lakes golf course. The land wasn’t needed for that development.
The appraisal report notes the Ben Eoin area, located about 25 kilometres from Sydney, contains both seasonal and permanent residences.
It states that the nearby Ski Ben Eoin and The Lakes golf course enhanced the market value in the area, making it a destination for both local residents and visitors, adding that the marina would further enhance its appeal.
In order to complete the appraisal, Martheleur viewed the property, assembled data from provincial and municipal records, searched for the histories of similar properties and talked to local realtors and others with knowledge of property transactions in the area.
Martheleur found that a recreational use such as the marina would offer the most significant return on investment.
Two of the parcels were valued at $42,000 an acre, while a smaller lot was valued at $52,000 an acre, for a total of about $700,000. It also pegged a hypothetical value if the lots were amalgamated, which would result in a lower market value, Martheleur wrote, as bulk land typically sells at a lower price per acre. That total amount was $460,000.
If the property was subdivided into five lots to be sold separately, Martheleur appraised the value at a total of about $815,000. He indicated he believed all lots would be sold within two years.
A title search conducted for the marina property shows that its assessed value, as of Feb. 18, 2013 was $566,500.
In 2012, the three vacant parcels of land that made up the site were turned over to ECBC as the federal Crown corporation took ownership of the marina project. The appraisal notes that in 2010, the three lots had a total assessed value of $307,800.
“Over the years, the Ben Eoin-East Bay area ( has) been transformed from a rural ‘cottage’ setting to a neighbourhood containing high market value range residential properties,” Martheleur wrote.
“Lands with shore frontage on the Bras d’Or Lakes, when available, sell very quickly, often for more than the asking price. As a result, vacant waterfront lands in neighbouring communities such as Big Pond, Middle Cape and Irish Cove have recently demonstrated upwards trends in market value.”
The group behind the golf course development obtained loans from both the provincial and federal governments for $300,000 in 1999 to buy land for recreational purposes. The federal loan has been forgiven. Earlier this year, there remained a $300,000 mortgage on the marina property related to the provincial Crown’s loan. Gary Andrea, a spokesperson with the Department of Economic and Rural Development, said the provincial loan hasn’t yet been forgiven.
There is a process in place that Ben Eoin Marina will have to go through to demonstrate the land has been used for recreational purposes, he said, but they haven’t yet made that application.
In 2010, ECBC also provided to Ben Eoin Marina a grant of $135,000 for preliminary work and preparation of a business plan for the proposed marina. The ECBC project information site noted that the total government funding for that component of the project was $328,750.
ECBC took ownership of the marina and is leasing it to Ben Eoin Marina Ltd.