When we are talking about exclusivity we usually refer to the amount of money needed for a certain commodity, this kind of exclusivity goes beyond the grasp of currency or luxury lifestyle. Five hundred feet above sea level, way up here in this rarified air, the view goes on forever for this Vancouver Penthouse, just don’t expect to snatch it just because you can pay it. Call it exclusionary, or tapping into the zeitgeist, or just a clever promotional scheme, but this idea comes from developer Bruce Langereis which says he wants a purchaser who will “commit” to this space and the city, and who will actually live here. If not year-round, then at least most of the time.
The downtown Vancouver luxury penthouse is now three years old. It remains unsold. No qualified buyer has met the developer’s terms. Overpriced? Not at all, insists Langereis. He says $18 million is “spare change” for certain monied folks in this town. Several of whom, he adds, have kicked the tires. “Langereis’ strategy contrasts with that of other luxury condo developments in the city, such as the under-construction Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver, which is being marketed in Asia to buyers there,” the story read. “(Langereis) clarified that what he means by local is someone who has lived in Vancouver for at least five years and has a commitment to making this city his or her home.”
That’s how it is in Vancouver, a city that attracts fleeting penthouse dwellers, absentee landlords and strange recluses a la Howard Hughes — who, in the early 1970s, commandeered the entire top floor of the Bayshore, a venerable hotel next to Stanley Park. Hughes stayed there for six months, behind boarded windows, without ever going outside. Then he left. He never returned. They are seldom seen, these citoyens éphémères. They come because Vancouver is politically stable, geographically blessed and climatologically mild, a stress-free, convenient resort-haven. They leave when they grow bored, or when their cover is blown.
Bruce Langereis is neither miserable nor uncomfortable nor sad. “I’ve been lucky,” he says. But with two of his own adult children priced out of the local housing market, he’s also worried. Like the rest of us, he’s concerned for a city that becomes more unfamiliar — and more transitory — with time.
Can you relate to this kind of developer or do you think these concerns should best be kept off of negotiation tables?