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The Chalmers Lodge assisted living highrise in Fairview is for sale

January 19, 2017
The Chalmers Lodge assisted living residence on 12th Ave.—Colliers International

The Chalmers Lodge assisted living residence on 12th Ave.—Colliers International

The Chalmers Lodge is for sale.

I have just noticed that this 48-year-old assisted living highrise has been listed on the Colliers International website as a “development opportunity” since some time in 2016.

The building sits on a 27,500-square-foot lot at 1450 West 12th Avenue, just a stone’s throw from Granville Street.

The asking price for the Chalmers Lodge is undisclosed but I would expect it to be at least $20.9 million—which is 40 percent above its total 2017 property assessment of $14,936,000 ($14,726,000 for the land and $210,000 for the building) and in line with property sales over the last two years in the Fairview neighbourhood.

I won’t miss the building, just the assisted living units

The small footprint of the Chalmers Lodge relative to its lot.—Vanmap

The small footprint of the Chalmers Lodge relative to its lot.—Vanmap

The Chalmers Lodge is a 13-storey concrete tower of 115 units. It was built in 1969 and has served its entire history as a comparatively affordable assisted living retirement residence, run by the non-profit Chalmers Foundation.

According to the Foundation’s website, a one bedroom studio in the Lodge goes for a monthly rent of between $2,328.00 and $2,711.00, which includes three meals a day.

The building is also something of a landmark to other residents of the South Granville area for no other reason than it has been the tallest structure on its block for nearly 50 years.

And for no other reason than proximity apparently, it takes its name from its next door neighbour in the 1400 block of 12th Avenue—the Chalmers Presbyterian Church, a 106-year-old neoclassical red and white brick and plaster pile of porticoes, pediments and Corinthian columns.

I’ve spoken to one of my friends who lives at the Chalmers Lodge. he told me that several months ago he heard rumours that the building was being sold and that the Chalmers Foundation planned to build a new facility somewhere in east Vancouver but that he hadn’t heard anything recently. However, until my email to the Chalmers Foundation receives an answer, anything I say about the future of the Chalmers Lodge is pure speculation (see email reply below).


“View potential from the 12th floor”, looking north from the Chalmers Lodge.—Colliers International

In its listing for the Chalmers Lodge, Colliers International calls it a “landmark property with substantial redevelopment potential”, citing its location “just steps away from the ultra trendy South Granville shipping district”, as well as the “anticipated Broadway rapid transit line”.

The property is currently zoned RM-3 Multiple Family Dwelling, which allows for medium density residential high-rise apartment buildings, according to Colliers.

Given that the density of the current building is approximately 49,398 square feet, Colliers estimates the allowable redevelopment density to be above 2.0 FSR (Floor Space Ration) or approximately 55,000 SF total density.

Update: Duncan Etches, Chairman of the Chalmers Foundation Board has confirmed by January 26 email that the Chalmers Lodge has been listed for sale since August 2016.

Etches describes the response to the listing as excellent.

“We had no asking price but accepted bids. The offers were typical of Vancouver real estate, that is, significantly more than assessed value.

Chalmers has provided Assisted Living since 1967 but extensive upgrading of the building is required. We will continue to provide Assisted Living without disruption but plan to build a modern facility to replace the current one when we have a suitable opportunity.”

From → Development, Fairview

  1. ohh are they closing the business then?


    • I believe the Chalmers people were looking to sell and build again, deep in East Vancouver, where everything would be more affordable. However, the building is still there and still listed for sale.


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