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

When crisis hits: How West Shore RCMP have dealt with the pandemic

More front-line officers on road in mobile offices

Sidney staff recommends additional outdoor seating for restaurants and cafes

Report before council also leaves open possibility of closing a portion of Beacon Avenue

‘Depression-era’ unemployment figures could hit Greater Victoria

South Island Prosperity Project launches new dashboard to measure effects of COVID-19

French fries to juicy tomatoes, rock art brings joy to walkers in Victoria

James Bay yard filled with painted rocks delights all ages

Langford bartender hosts singalong livestream for seniors

Live Senior Singalong takes place daily at 1 p.m. on Facebook

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read