Rising house prices will push up cost of final Mill Lake acquisitions

Only four homes remain in acquisition plan, but last one cost the City of Abbotsford nearly $1 million

Spiking house prices will likely make the city’s plan to further expand the boundaries of Mill Lake Park significantly more expensive.

For decades, the City of Abbotsford has been buying properties around the jewel of its parks system. The focus in recent years has been on buying homes north and west of the Bevan and Ware intersection – where the city envisions the construction of a prominent park entrance – along with single-family houses squeezed between Sevenoaks Shopping Centre and the lake’s northern edge.

Over the last 15 years, around 20 homes have already been bought in those areas, with just four remaining.

But although just a handful of properties remain, the dramatic jump in home prices looks set to force the city to spend considerably more to round out its collection.

Earlier this year, the city shelled out $965,000 to buy the home and property at 2450 Lindale Street in 2018, according to figures obtained by The News through a freedom of information request. The home had been one of two remaining Lindale properties not yet owned by the city, and was immediately adjacent to the park.

The purchase price of the single property was more than the combined purchase price in 2013 for a pair of homes on Adanac Street, just southeast of Mill Lake Park. Those two homes cost $400,000 and $446,000, while another bought a year earlier had been purchased for just $300,000 – less than one-third the price of 41-year-old Lindale home.

Of the four remaining homes, three are located along Adanac Street, with the fourth located immediately north of the recently bought Lindale address.

Between 2016 and 2018, the assessed value of the four remaining properties increased from $1.5 million in 2016 to $2.8 million last year. But that’s just the assessed value. The recent Lindale property was bought for more than $170,000 more than its latest assessment.

The homes are bought as they become available, and a city official told The News last year that the future purchase of the Lindale house and two more properties had been included in budgeting. The rest are part of the city’s long-term acquisition strategy. In 2003, the city vowed not to expropriate properties after residents voiced concern about the possibility.

Abbotsford’s new parks masterplan makes clear the acquisition plan remains on the books.

Mayor Henry Braun said council expects to hear more about improvements to the park in 2019.

And he hailed the foresight of the previous councils that put the acquisition plans in place in order to improve the park.

“I am glad that they had the foresight to look ahead to a community that would be much bigger than it was,” he said.

Acquiring all the properties could help the city achieve two long-standing goals involving Mill Lake Park. Owning all the properties Lindale and Mill Lake Road would allow the city to relocate parking and free up the valuable lake frontage cars currently occupy. The city’s City Centre Neighbourhood Plan envisions the creation of a plaza in the area currently used for parking.

And in the Adanac Street area, at the park’s southeastern edge, the purchase of the properties would allow for the creation of a prominent park entrance at the corner of Bevan and Ware. With two properties there not on the radar for immediate purchase, it’s unclear when that dream could become a reality.

RELATED: Mill Lake plaza pitched in plan for Abbotsford’s core

RELATED: City centre plan lays groundwork for redevelopment of malls

RELATED: Sevenoaks site key to Abbotsford’s Mill Lake link


@ty_olsen
tolsen@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Semis catch fire at Bradner-area wrecker off Highway 1 in Abbotsford

Crews called to scene at around 2 p.m., finding up to six semis that had caught fire at the wrecker

Abbotsford group meets to kick off local Green New Deal talks

Organizer says climate movement started small locally, but hopes to expand moving forward

City of Abbotsford organizing renewed homelessness forum

Local forum in June to come after regional forum fell out due to snowy weather in February

Up-front price tag for new Abbotsford/Mission water source rises

Consultants suggest shifting $7 million in costs from project’s second stage

Abbotsford’s newest public art unveiled in historic downtown

Mural adorns back of Hemingway’s Books on Montrose Avenue

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Most Read