The $12.8 million house at 587 Vancouver Avenue in Penticton, nominated for several International Design Awards, is described as a property that “has been designed with an obsessive level of attention to detail.” (Jon Adrian / Kevin Chen Realty)

The $12.8 million house at 587 Vancouver Avenue in Penticton, nominated for several International Design Awards, is described as a property that “has been designed with an obsessive level of attention to detail.” (Jon Adrian / Kevin Chen Realty)

$12.8 million Penticton home listing sparks racist, hateful comments

Realtor Kevin Chen reported threats made against him to police

A luxury home in Penticton

listed for sale at $12.8 million has sparked many racist comments, including a threatening email against the realtors who listed the property.

The house, located at 587 Vancouver Avenue, listed by Kevin Chen and Matt Zhang from Vancouver-based Oakwyn Realty, has been on the market for almost a year now.

However, it wasn’t until the home was featured by the online Vancouver news publication Daily Hive that Chen and Zhang began to draw the ire of some locals.

Since the Daily Hive story ran in December 2020, Chen and Zhang have been subject to a slew of racist and hateful comments and remarks from Penticton locals.

In one case, an email sent directly to Chen Saturday, April 24, suggested that he “should be shot,” alleged he was involved in money laundering and threatened “dire consequences” should he not return to China.

Chen, who grew up in Canada and is originally from Taiwan, said he was taken aback by the email but not shocked considering the amount of anti-Asian racism seen in Canada recently.

Chen reported the email to the Penticton RCMP but so far no progress has been made on contacting the person who made the threats, according to Zhang. The Western News has reached out to the Penticton RCMP for more information but, has not yet received a response.

Zhang, who has also lived in Canada his entire life, said the email is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the racist and hateful sentiments they’ve had thrown at them since the Daily Hive story ran.

The racism is particularly perplexing to Zhang considering the home’s current owner is a Caucasian, Canadian man.

“We were just selected to list the house for him and ever since we listed it, if you look at the comments on the Daily Hive story, it’s been all racist comments,” Zhang said.

Zhang also noted that as realtors he and Chen are obligated to verify they are not dealing with potential money launderers through the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada.

“At the end of the day, we’re just the agents who are listing it. The owner is Canadian and we have verified the source. The client wanted to sell his dream home, and we’re here to market it to our best ability, it’s as simple as that,” Zhang said.

Anti-Asian racism has been on the rise in Canada since the start of the pandemic. In Vancouver, police data shows anti-Asian hate crimes have risen by 717 per cent since the start of the pandemic.

READ MORE: B.C. premier calls for action on hate crimes in wake of Vancouver police report

“Even since COVID, the surging racism in Vancouver and Canada has been insane,” Zhang said. “Honestly, at first, I just feel bad for those people (who make racist comments).

“It’s like ‘what did someone from my race do to you to make you assume all these terrible things about us?’ It’s just so unnecessary.”

Zhang said he understands if the property isn’t for everyone.

“It’s overkill but in the best ways possible, but if you think it’s too much just say that. Not everyone thinks the Mona Lisa is beautiful and that’s okay.

When you start bringing race into it and all these negative stigmas toward a certain race and just assuming that this person is Chinese and has dirty, laundered money, that’s where you cross the line… you’re just assuming those things because it’s expensive.”

The house is described as being “more like a boutique hotel than a residential home” and features seven patios spanning over 2,500 square feet, over $1 million worth of marble, over $1 million of custom furniture and an emerald green marble garage with a custom vehicle turntable.

“With 587 Vancouver Avenue, you’re not only purchasing a property, you’re buying a landmark, an architectural masterpiece with a priceless view,” reads the home’s website.

The home has received international recognition, including being one of the front runners for 2020’s “best luxury property international” and “best luxury property Canada” by the U.K.-based Design El Al Awards magazine.

“Everything in this house is designed with a level of detail that I’ve never seen in Canada,” Zhang said. “It’s one of those houses you really have to visit and see in person in order to appreciate it.”

To see more pictures and find out more about the property at 587 Vancouver Ave., visit the website for the listing at 587vancouver.com.

READ MORE: ‘No more hate and hurt’ was the message at Penticton rally against Asian racism



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

racismReal estate

Just Posted

The draw for May’s Shop Local & Win contest takes place June 4, 2021. (Special to The News)
Open your wallet close to home and win

Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce hosts shop local competition

Brian Malfesi and his partner Vincent Jourdenais have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge kayak racer qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Malfesi is first B.C. sprint paddler to race for Team Canada at Olympics in 33 years

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Chamber of commerce for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows hosts Conservative leader

Erin O’Toole and MP Dalton part of online Zoom meeting on Monday

A photo of Telosky Stadium from the Maple Ridge Museum and Archives. (Special to The News)
Telosky Stadium opened in Haney on this day in 1950

Maple Ridge Museum and Archives marks special day in local sporting history

Transport 2050 is TransLink’s largest ever public engagement. (TransLink, Special to The News)
Last day to take TransLink’s planning survey

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents can have a say in Transport 2050

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mandarin Garden in Abbotsford had two event tents set up for outdoor dining. One of the tents, valued at more than $5,000, was stolen early Friday morning (May 14). (Submitted photo)
UPDATE: Dining tent stolen from Abbotsford restaurant is located

Owner says it would have cost more than $5,000 to replace the rented event tent

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Most Read