In one of the largest private-land sales in recent Mission history, a family estate property adjacent to the downtown core has sold to developers for $13 million.
Bianco Developments officially took occupancy of the Braich family estate property on Oct. 6. The two-lot, 12.3-acre property sits perched on a hill adjacent to the Cedar Valley Connector and overlooks the Fraser River.
The sale of the land was “mentally, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually” draining, said H.S. Kenny Braich, estate trustee.
“It’s extremely bittersweet,” Braich said. “This is our family home … It’s been in our family for 70 years.”
He and his brother Bobby are the trustees for the estate of their late father, Herman S. Braich.
The property has been on and off the market for years, first being listed for sale in 2018, according to a Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
The family was careful about choosing a buyer as the development will fundamentally change the city, according to Braich, who described its future as a “trophy project.”
“It’s not only the only land left, it’s the best land left because of where it sits,” he said. “We’ve done everything that we could possibly do to be stewards of the land.”
The most recent price-tag on several MLS websites was $13.3 million. Braich said the final sale was $13 million.
Bianco Developments is owned by Kamloops-born brothers, Byron and Scott Bianco, the latter of whom is a former Canadian wrestling champion who competed in the 1996 Olympics.
Braich said multi-family developments are being planned for the property, the applications of which will soon come before city council.
He said a good-faith agreement was made as part of the sale, in which the developers committed to honouring the family’s dedication of a portion of land to the city, which would triple the size of a small public park north of the property.
The land contains six trees planted by Braich’s late mother, one for each of her children. The dedication, which would rename the park “Surjeet Kaur Braich Memorial Park,” had been formally supported by a past city council, according to Braich.
The family’s number one focus will now be working with city planners on developing 296-acres of Mission’s waterfront, 87-acres of which is owned by the family, according to Braich.
“We’re excited to be working with the city,” he said. “Everybody’s on the same page.”