Three downtown heritage buildings sold for $10.38 million

A cluster of three heritage buildings on Wharf Street has sold for $10.38 million.

Called the Rithet Building, the properties are all more than a century old. Work began in 1861 and additions continued to 1889.

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They had been owned by Hobo Holdings of Victoria, which upgraded the buildings after buying them 10 years ago. The latest buyer was not disclosed and is from out of town, according to Colliers International’s Victoria office.

The Rithet was named after former mayor and MLA Robert P. Rithet, who was a part-owner of Albion Iron Works. He purchased the land in 1888.

The Italianate-style property, from 1107 to 1119 Wharf St., is a standout among historic downtown Victoria buildings. It sold quickly after being listed in November for $10.8 million.

Greater Victoria’s commercial real estate is in a “red hot” market these days, Michael Miller, senior vice-president at Colliers International’s Victoria office, said Wednesday.

Historically low interest rates and financial turmoil in equity and financial markets are helping to fuel demand, Miller said.

“What appears to be happening is the market in Vancouver is so overheated that we are now on the radar screen over here in Victoria. On the world stage, Victoria is still a relatively good buy.”

In the past year, three properties have sold through their office to buyers originally from China, Miller said.

Potential buyers are looking for “anything of an investment nature.” They are paying attention to development sites as well, particularly if the site has some form of holding income.

Buyers are looking at properties throughout the capital region, Miller said.

Another example of the hot commercial market is the speedy sale of a James Bay property listed Jan. 12 for $8.15 million. It quickly attracted two offers from Lower Mainland-based groups, Miller said.

An unconditional sale is due to close at the end of February for 43 Erie St., he said. The building houses Codan Radio Communications, an electronics manufacturing company that bought what used to be Daniels Electronics in 2012. That building is leased for several more years.

Miller did not disclose the sale price.

Just listed on Wednesday at $8.6 million by Colliers is the 17-unit Clive rental apartment building at Oak Bay Avenue and Clive Drive, built last year.

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