Chilliwack heritage home offered for free, Report

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Chilliwack heritage home offered for free, Report
Chilliwack heritage home offered for free, Report

A 125-year-old home in Chilliwack is being offered up for free – but it comes with a catch.

The 2,000-sq-ft space is known to most in the community as the Paisley House and was built in 1894 by Mr. Paisley. By 1899, the Kipp family, one of Chilliwack’s founding families moved in and the house took on a second name – the Kipp Retirement home.

Now, the property that the house sits on is being subject to a proposed development, meaning that the house will have to be torn down or moved.

In order to protect the heritage and value that the house has to the community, the developers are looking to give it away for free.

So what’s the catch?

According to their listing on Craigslist, “the house must be moved at the expense of the party that wishes to acquire it.” It’s also explained that the home will also need to be placed on a property that can properly accommodate the structure.

The developers quoted anywhere from $48,000 to $54,000 to move the house, however, that fails to capture other expenses as well, such as utilities, moving vehicles, and even re-furbishing the long-standing property.

For members of the Chilliwack Heritage Society, a local organization trying to preserve local monuments, they’re hoping that the Paisley house can find a new property to call home.

“When the developers realized that there was a heritage home on their property, their first thought was to try and give it away,” explains Laura Reid, president of the Chilliwack Heritage Society.

Reid explains that while the Society understands and respects the actions of the developers, they’d like to see the city take an active role in helping to preserve these buildings.

“We’re not trying to tell the property owners what to do,” says Reid. “But we’d love to see the city play a more active role in including these buildings.”

“The city could take a more active role in offering developers incentive to re-use older buildings. Maybe a tax or density incentive. Other cities offer these kinds of incentives, but here there’s nothing in place – that’s a big piece of the puzzle that’s missing.”

The proposed development is expected to reach the building stage by mid-to-late 2019.

Interested applicants are invited to respond to the developer’s Craigslist post.

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