Oak Bay mansion on market for $20 million

A waterfront mansion in Oak Bay known as Sweet Pea is on the market for nearly $20 million.

The opulent home at 3195 Humber Rd., just off Beach Drive, is in the Uplands neighbourhood and boasts more than 300 metres of ocean front and 2.5 acres of manicured grounds.

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The 15,000-square-foot residence has six bedrooms and nine bathrooms an indoor swimming pool and spa and media room. It also has its own desalination plant, multiple heat pumps, backup generator and numerous patios.

Slyvia Therrien of Newport Realty and Lisa Williams of Sotheby’s International are marketing the property.

“We are expecting significant interest from overseas buyers,” Williams said in a statement. “This home has been the setting of many formal gatherings where guests have included prime ministers, heads of state and Fortune 500 executives.

The home is assessed at $12,113,000, according to B.C. Assessment with the land assessed at $7.7 million and home at $4.4 million.

It’s not the first time the Sweet Pea has been listed for sale by owners Pamela and Todd Axelrod.

In 2009, it was offered for $28.5 million, which was believed to be the highest asking price for a single-family home in Canada at the time.

This year, the 2005-built Mille Fleurs at 525 Towner Park Rd. in North Saanich was listed for $18 million by Sotheby’s International. The property has since been was taken off the market, but it wasn’t clear whether it was sold.

Sweet Pea has a colourful local history. It was formerly owned by Frank Hertel, who fled to Venezuela and Germany in 1986 after being charged with conspiring to evade $1.2 million in back taxes under the federal scientific research tax-credit program.

In 2010, the home was flagged as a consulate for the tiny Caribbean islands of St. Kitts and Nevis in 2010.

The current asking price for Sweet Pea is $19,995,000. If sold at that price, it would easily set a record for the region. A nearby waterfront Uplands property at 3115 Beach Drive built for Thomas William Paterson, B.C.’s lieutenant-governor from 1909 to 1914, holds the record for the highest price paid for a Greater Victoria home, selling in 2006 for $10.5 million.

It is also currently listed for sale at $11.9 million.

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