Ben Eoin Ma­rina site ap­praised at $700,000

Post sub­mit­ted ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion re­quest

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY NANCY KING nk­ing@cb­post.com

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.

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