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Developing Story: WilMar estate on the block

The WilMar Estate at 2050 Southwest Marine Dr. is up for sale again — this time for $8.9 million. An earlier sale fell through.
wilmar
Photo Dan Toulgoet

The WilMar Estate at 2050 Southwest Marine Dr. is up for sale again — this time for $8.9 million.

An earlier sale fell through. A developer planned to buy the almost two-acre property, but the deal was contingent on a proposal to rehabilitate the mansion and add infill through a heritage revitalization agreement with the City of Vancouver.

That deal collapsed late last year — much to the frustration of those involved.

The house has heritage B status, meaning it’s registered but not designated.

“WilMar” is the combined names of Willard and Mary Kitchen. The Kitchen family and descendants occupied the five-bedroom house, built in 1925, until 2006 when Judith Jardine, the last living family member died. The Vancouver Foundation is a major beneficiary of Jardine’s will.

WilMar landed on Heritage Vancouver’s 2012 endangered sites list. It’s considered important for its architecture, history and historical associations, and as one of the great estate properties on Southwest Marine Drive and in Vancouver.

Realtor Larry Yatkowsky, who’s listed the property on behalf of the Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Company, said it’s been on the market for about a month.

The listing calls attention to the property’s history and size: “Originally developed circa 1925, this estate is an incredible opportunity to own a unique piece of Vancouver land. Amongst the largest available in the city, this property offers almost two acres (84,831.7 square feet) of prime land with incredible view potential. Situated upon this lot is a historically notable family home with Heritage B status. The Tudor styled home contains almost 9,000 square feet of living space that is untouched and unchanged from its days of grandeur. If the 20’s style is for you, this is your home!”

Notes on the listing point out it’s listed for land value only.

“This home is in original condition and while charming, please note that extensive mechanical renovations amongst other items, may be required in order to achieve current building code standards,” it states.

Yatkowsky said he was disappointed the heritage revitalization proposal didn’t work out.

“It was, in my opinion, a great solution… I thought the plans were well considered. It was an elegant solution to a problem that solved the issue of keeping a heritage house, but it was not to be,” he said.

“It’s the same grand old property. It’s still an exciting piece of property — there’s no question.”

Heritage expert Donald Luxton remains optimistic the mansion can be saved.

“It’s a very sound building that can be easily rehabilitated. The city remains open to creative solutions, and there is enough land to subdivide so it’s not that constrained,” Luxton wrote in an email. “I am not saying that it’s that easy, but I am hopeful that a solution can be found.”

Photo Gallery: Wilmar estate.

noconnor@vancourier.com

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