Chinese Developer Buys BC Ghost Town for Around $1m

Listing agent says Chinese buyers are moving away from single-family homes to recreational and resort properties

January 6, 2015

Bradian Township
The ghost town of Bradian, north of Whistler, was sold to Chinese development company China Zhong Ya Group Hebei Canada-China Co. on December 29, 2014

The ghost town of Bradian located in the Bridge River Valley north of Whistler is set to get a new lease of life now that it has a new owner, according to listing agent John Lovelace of Sutton Seafair Realty.

Lovelace said that title to the town, complete with streets, vacant lots and all of its 22 homes, transferred December 29, 2014, to China Zhong Ya Group Hebei Canada-China Co.

"We had an unbelievable response from potential buyers all over the world, but at the end of the day we feel that the China Zhong Yung Group will be a good fit,” said Lovelace.

“The company told us they plan to rehabilitate the town but I think they are prepared to take the time to plan everything out first. That planning process will undoubtedly take considerable time.”

Lovelace said the final sale bid was close to the original asking price of $995,000 for the 50-acre town, according to a report by Huffington Post BC.

Lovelace said that buyer interest was evenly split between domestic and foreign investors but he sees a changing trend in Asian buyers.

"The first wave of investors who came to Vancouver were mainly interested in buying single-family homes and condos. This new wave of buyers are getting more sophisticated, and they are looking at investing outside of places like Richmond and West Vancouver. Now they are looking at properties all over BC like farms, ranches, and businesses, and in this case an entire town!"

Lovelace, who specializes in real estate investments outside of the Lower Mainland, said he is working with several other foreign investors who are looking at properties all the way up to the Yukon border.

The Bradian listing on Lovelace’s website reads, “The Bradian Township is SOLD – BUT we have a brand new western town for sale, complete with a movie theatre, general store and saloon!”

Lovelace is referring to this listing for a 292-acre Cariboo ranch that has recreated entire Old Western-style town with lodge (pictured below), fully licensed saloon (complete with spitoons), general store, 22 lakefront log cabins and 4000-foot private airstrip. The Flying U Ranch is on the market for $3.25 million.

Flying U Ranch interior
Interior of the main lodge at the Flying U Ranch in the Cariboo, which is a recreated Old Western-style town listed at $3.25 million

Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.
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