$51.8-million mansion may be B.C.’s highest-selling home

A gaming mogul sells his Point Grey mansion and Prince Rupert’s planned port expansion

Record sale
What’s likely Vancouver’s most expensive property to come to market sold for $51.8 million in December, according to the Vancouver Sun. The 25,000-sq.-ft. faux italianate mansion sits on a 2.7-acre plot of land in Point Grey. The buyer, Mailin Chen, is proprietor of a Vancouver-based company called Chunghwa Investment (Canada) Ltd. Sold by Nanon de Gaspé Beaubien-Mattrick and Don Mattrick—the Burnaby-born founder of a gaming studio later acquired by Electronic Arts, Mattrick is currently the CEO of FarmVille maker Zynga—the property was assessed for an accumulated $46.1 million in January. No residential property has sold for more through the MLS system.

Prince of ports
A terminal operator at the port of Prince Rupert has plans for an expansion that will increase the port’s container capacity by 60 per cent. Construction will begin immediately on the $200-million expansion, which will upgrade the capacity of Fairview Container Terminal from 850,000 containers per year to 1.3 million containers per year. Port Metro Vancouver, by comparison, processed 2.9 million containers in 2014. Fairview, which is owned by Maher Terminals, primarily exports pulp paper and other forest products to Asia.

Fewer foreign workers
The federal government’s changes to the temporary foreign worker program will hit businesses reliant on low-wage workers hard, according to a report from the Canada West Foundation. As the new rules come into effect in 2016, B.C. is expected to lose around 1,000 temporary foreign workers per year, most of whom currently take up low-wage, low-skill roles. Around 1 per cent of the province’s workforce is here on a TFW visa. But thanks in large part to the recession in Alberta, the news isn’t all glum for employers. With a 6.6 per cent unemployment rate—the highest in the West—and a stream of workers returning from Alberta, employers will have a relatively large pool of people to draw from to fill vacancies, or so concludes the report.