A luxury condo overlooking the Fairmont Empress, B.C. legislature and the Inner Harbour was sold on Nov. 26 with the biggest price tag a condo has seen in the city.
The building, which is expected to be move-in ready for late spring 2020, features two penthouse suites. The sub-penthouse was sold last year for just shy of $7 million. At the time it was the most anyone had paid for a condo in Victoria.
“This has eclipsed it by an additional $4 million. This is by far the highest price paid for a condo [in Victoria],” said Craig Anderson, the director of marketing and sales for Magnum Projects.
The $10.79-million penthouse suite features three bedrooms — each with an ensuite bathroom, balcony and walk-in closet — in 4,400 square feet with an additional 1,900 square-foot rooftop patio.
Of the 57 units planned for Customs House, only nine have not yet been sold. Anderson said most of the buyers are quite private, but all of them are Canadian citizens planning to make the Customs House their primary residence.
“We’ve not seen any investors in this project,” he said. “One thing I find quite interesting is everybody who’s bought into this project has a connection to Victoria, whether they went to Brentwood or they went to UVic or they had business interests in Victoria.”
Originally built in 1898, the building served as police barracks. In 1914, it was added onto before a fire in 1937 burned down a portion of it. It was rebuilt in 1951. With so many additions and changes over the decades, different floor heights made it difficult to find a new purpose for the waterfront structure.
“You couldn’t do anything with the building other than maintaining the heritage facade,” Anderson said.
The exterior wall facing the waterfront is all that remains intact, and the condos will be built within. Space for a parkade is currently being dug out.
Soon the building will have new life. Cielo Properties, Anderson’s client, is also looking to add a high-end restaurant in the first floor.
It will add “preservation for all tourists coming into the city to see it, but also very important is I believe it adds a gateway to the business district on Government Street,” Anderson said. “You can imagine it’s dusk, you’re walking up Government Street and in the window, it’s fine dining. It just sets off that entire building and it really sets a tone for the downtown core.”