Monday, July 16, 2018

Finally, Vinson House Cottages is finished! Ribbon Cutting Ceremony July 18th

      I started the Vinson House heritage conservation project in January 2015, and I'm delighted to say that it is finally finished. In addition to moving and restoring the old house, we built a new suite below and two infill houses, all surrounding an Edwardian-style garden.
     Below is a news release I have sent out in the hope that this small but innovative project might attract some media interest.
     After all, it is West Vancouver's first Heritage Revitalization Agreement project that has been completed, and is the first involving an older, heritage house. And while one home has sold, I need to sell the three remaining homes. Prices start at $2.6 million (or about $1100 a foot for those of you who think that way.)
     The irony is that when I started this project, the real estate market was very hot and I didn't worry about selling the homes at a reasonable price and profit. But things have certainly changed and while we didn't cut back on the quality, especially in the case of the heritage house restoration, I do now worry about the market response.
     While we are about 7 months behind schedule in finishing the development, I am delighted with the way the development has turned out. Trasolini Chetner, who was both the builder and a partner in the development has done an excellent job. So did the full consulting team led by Formwerks Architectural.
     I'll report back in a couple of weeks. More details at

For immediate release.
July 16, 2018

West Vancouver mayor to cut ribbon at District’s first completed Heritage Revitalization Agreement (HRA) development.
At a time when many heritage and character homes are being demolished to make way for larger new houses, on July 18th, West Vancouver Mayor Michael Smith will be cutting a ribbon to celebrate completion of West Vancouver’s first Heritage Revitalization Agreement for one of the District’s early heritage homes.
Situated on a large secluded lot at 1425 Gordon Avenue, Vinson House was built in 1913 for the well-known photographer Valient Vivian Vinson, who was also Reeve of West Vancouver between 1918 and 1929. It was the first house in the upper Hollyburn area, and originally stood on a two-hectare lot.

The house, which is an excellent, well preserved example of the Craftsman style, has been relocated on the lot and renovated in accordance with a Conservation Plan prepared by heritage consultant Donald Luxton. Construction was by Trasolini Chetner who, along with architect and developer Michael Geller, was a partner in the development.

Designed by Formwerks Architectural, in addition to the heritage house, the development includes three infill homes: a single-level garden suite below the heritage house; a laneway cottage at the rear of the lot; and a garden cottage tucked into the front corner of the property. Each of the homes has its own private garage and range in size from approximately 1900 to 2600 sq.ft.
According to Geller who initiated the development in early 2015, this project is significant for two reasons. It retains an important part of West Vancouver’s history and neighbourhood character.
It also results on new ‘missing-middle’ housing choices that are not being offered in the community.
Like his earlier Hollyburn Mews development that was also built by Trasolini Chetner, Vinson House Cottages attempts to combine the charm and neighbourliness of yesteryear with the modern conveniences of today. Residents can enjoy a large shared Edwardian-style garden.
While the Garden Suite has been sold, the heritage house and two infill cottages are now being offered for sale. Prices start at $2.6 million.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place around 4:45 on Wednesday July 18th, 2018.
For more information contact Michael Geller 778 997 9980 or geller@sfu.


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