Billionaire’s Row feeling the pinch
Vancouver’s 10 priciest homes lost a combined $66M in value in a year
And why you don’t need to feel bad thestar.com/vancouver
Just 10 houses, all clustered on Vancouver’s west side near the ocean, were worth $433 million at the turn of the New Year, when B.C. Assessment released its annual figures.
Their owners, a mix of famous billionaires such as Lululemon’s founder and anonymous holding firms, are probably none-too-happy the homes actually plummeted a collective $66 million in value in just a year.
Compared to five years ago, however, each of them skyrocketed by an average of $13 million. It’s been nicknamed “Billionaire’s Row” for a reason.
Their houses feature everything from in-ground labyrinths to multiple swimming pools, seaside tennis courts, secluded pathways through large urban forest acreages, ocean views, and extreme privacy measures to keep out prying eyes.
The only strata condominium to eke its way near the top among a long litany of single-family homes and acreages came in at No. 11, the $32-million 31st-floor unit of 277 Thurlow St. in downtown Vancouver’s Harbour neighbourhood.
Here is the independent agency’s list of the top five:
1. 3085 POINT GREY RD. ($73.1 MILLION)
Former yoga-wear mogul Chip Wilson, founder of Lululemon, holds onto his years-long title as the owner of the entire province’s most expensive property, which features a seaside tennis court, pool and private lookout.
Although some of Wilson’s top-10 rivals have properties massively more valuable than the actual buildings on them, that’s not the case for his sprawling mansion.
Designed by legendary architect Russell Hollingsworth — who boasts a few titles on the top-10 list — the seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom house itself is valued at $26 million.
2. 4707 BELMONT AVE. ($65.5 MILLION)
The mansion at 4707 Belmont Ave. is shrouded in mystery because, unlike the outspoken Lululemon magnate, the owners remain publicly unknown — hidden behind a British Virgin Islands holding company, Pisonii (PTC) Ltd., according to B.C. government records.
It has no website. And its home country won’t reveal who owns or directs its companies registered there. Only recently did the British Columbia government demand that such companies turn over who is behind them.
What is known is that Hollingsworth designed the anonymous Belmont Avenue owner a sprawling, 29,000-square-foot palace with 17 bathrooms to go with its 10 bedrooms.
3. 4719 BELMONT AVE. ($41.2 MILLION)
This house features what appears from satellite images to be a seven-metre skylight at the heart of the square 18,000square-foot manor.
Its owners — Nezhat Khosrowshahi, according to recent documents, whose spouse Hassan founded Future Shop and Persis Holdings Ltd., and whose nephew is CEO of Uber — have their own full-size tennis court less than 100 steps away from their mysterious neighbours’ own private court.
4. 2815 POINT GREY RD. ($40.0 MILLION)
This Kitsilano property is owned by Jacqui Cohen, the granddaughter of the Army and Navy retail empire founder.
Her property fell $5.9 million in value in this year’s assessment.
5. 4743 BELMONT AVE ($37.7 MILLION)
Continuing west down Billionaire’s Row from Khosrowshahi, this green-roofed mansion has a large tract of dense forest that takes up much of its 1.3-acre lot.
Its owners are Rosalie and Joe Segal — founder of the Fields department store chain, whose firm Kingswood Capital took over Zellers.
And they’ve created a Versailles-inspired classical garden to match the elegant style interiors that were revealed when the 90-something couple placed the house on the market two years ago; they took it off the market in the end, but the photos offered a glimpse inside a seldom-seen corner of Vancouver. Get the full list at thestar.com/vancouver
In this Google Earth screenshot, the north side of the 4000-block of Belmont Avenue, in Vancouver's wealthy west side, hosts four of British Columbia's most expensive houses.
The Segal family’s mansion on so-called Billionaire’s Row on Belmont Ave. features a Versailles-inspired garden and extensive forest cover.