Price cut on Esquimalt landmark: English Inn and adjacent lands

The 105-year-old English Inn and its adjacent development lands have been re-listed for sale at a reduced price of $8.55 million.

Potential buyers have the option of buying the landmark inn and the lands on Lampson Street in Esquimalt separately. The properties went on the market last spring with two commercial Realtors, but are now both listed with Colliers International’s Victoria office.

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The English Inn is priced at $2.3 million, down from $2.6 million. The 3.24 acres of development land, recently rezoned for residential use, is listed for $6.25 million, down from $6.7 million.

Sales efforts include marketing to potential buyers in Hong Kong or mainland China. “There still appears to an appetite for Asian money to come into Victoria,” Michael Miller, a listing agent with Colliers International’s Victoria office, said Monday.

This could be achieved through the provincial nominee program, which sees newcomers invest in businesses in Canada. Or it might be a company based in Hong Kong or mainland China with a tourist destination business, Miller said.

Last year, the high-end Brentwood Bay Resort and Spa was sold to a Chinese firm for $13.99 million.

The Samuel Maclure-designed English Inn sits on 1.13 acres. The Tudor revival inn was originally called Rosemead. It was home to businessman Thomas Henry Slater and his wife, Elizabeth.

Following the Second World War, tourism promoter Sam Lane and his wife, Rosina, bought it, converting it into a guesthouse and naming it the Olde England Inn.

They added several buildings to create an English-style commercial village and had staff dress in Shakespearean outfits.

It has had subsequent owners. Today, the property is held by the Lanyard Group of Companies, of Vancouver.

The 21,340-square-foot inn has 15 furnished guest rooms and the potential for 21. Another four rooms are in an annex, Miller said.

It is currently operating as a hotel and is popular for weddings and receptions, he said.

Features include a 1,700- square-foot dining area and a kitchen.

About $4.5 million has been spent renovating the inn since 2005. It has a food-primary liquor licence and a liquor-primary licence.

A comprehensive development district zoning covers the entire property.

Zoning on the development lands allows for up to 265,000 square feet of density, in up to six storeys, for uses including multi-family, single-family, townhouse residential and senior-care apartments.

Miller said the site, with its mature trees, seems well suited to a lower-density development, such as townhouses.

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