James Island owned by billionaire Craig McCaw lost in value, but remains the most valuable property in the region and the third most valuable property in British Columbia at $56,747,000 as of July 1, 2019 (Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty).

James Island off Sidney lost value, but remains most valuable on Vancouver Island

BC Assessment lists the island’s value at $56,747,000, a figure eclipsed only by two Vancouver homes

An island near Sidney, and owned by American billionaire Craig McCaw, has lost value, but remains the most valuable property in the region and the third-most valuable property in British Columbia.

The latest figures from BC Assessment peg the value of James Island at $56,747.000 as of July 1, 2019, down from the previous figure of $56,757.000. The publicly available assessment notice does not explain the drop in value.

Tina Ireland, assessor with BC Assessment, Vancouver Island Region, said she could not speak about specific properties, but rather general trends. “The general trend is a softening of values, and in many cases, seeing a reduction in values over last year,” she said.

This said, James Island remains one of the most valuable properties in British Columbia, retaining its third place from last year behind two single-family residences in Vancouver — 3085 Point Grey Rd. valued at $64.946.000 and 4704 Belmont Ave. valued at $58,728.000.

Forbes lists McCaw’s net worth at $1.8 billion (US), good enough for 1281st spot on the magazine’s list of billionaires. The wireless pioneer occupied the 358th place on Forbes’ Fortune 400 list in 2015. He dropped off the list in 2016.

The 770-acre parcel is the second largest privately owned island in the region and the most expensive acreage. It features a 4,500-square-foot main house, six guest homes, a private airstrip and an 18-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, according to a recent article in Discovery Magazine, the in-house publication of Discovery Land Company.

The Arizona-based company specializes in building private, luxury residential communities and resorts and formed a partnership with McCaw to develop “fewer than 100 or so housing sites” on lots ranging in size from two to five acres.

The development would likely be one of the company’s smaller developments, the article states.

RELATED: Billionaire enters deal with developer over James Island near Sidney

McCaw purchased the island in 1994 from a developer who was planning a subdivision of more than 300 houses, according to Discovery’s article. A explosives plant operated on the island between 1913 and 1978 and McCaw spent more than $5 million removing remnants left by the plant from the island.

The Tsawout First Nation launched a lawsuit last year against Canada and B.C., suing for the return of the island. The lawsuit alleges James Island was part of the 1852 treaty with then-Governor James Douglas.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria non-profit advocates for the use of psilocybin for terminal patients

North Saanich psychotherapist pushes for alternative treatment

Victoria woman to sell masks on wheels after garage stand shut down

Mama’s Masks stand accompanied Moss Street Market

Sooke Bluffs staircase closed due to rot

District to consider replacement for ‘high risk’ staircase in fall

Gathering marks 10 years since nearly 500 asylum-seekers landed off Victoria shore

The 492 people fleeing violence, war crimes and genocide in Sri Lanka were detained for months

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Captive fawn seized from Island home

Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 11

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read