“If the Chinese market doesn’t want it, I have no interest in it” – Vancouver developer

By ThinkPol Staff

Vancouver developer Westbank is only interested in projects that are wanted in China, the marketing director of the company has admitted.

“It’s a hindrance that I don’t speak Mandarin for example, in sales,” Westbank’s Director of Marketing Michael Braun says on a blog post on the company’s website[1]Original: http://westbankcorp.com/michael-braun, archive: http://archive.is/cwqJ8. “And there is always the fear, what if the China market blows up? But right now I have a rule when we talk about projects if the Chinese market doesn’t want it, I have no interest in it.”

Westbank and its owner Ian Gillespie have come under heavy criticism recently for catering to wealthy foreign buyers at the expense of taxpaying locals — a criticism that Braun has previously denied.

“Our goal with this project is to get people who are committed to the community – versus an investor-style product,” Westbank marketing director Michael Braun told The Globe and The Mail last March[2]https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/west-vancouver-real-estate-project-closes-locals-only-buying-period/article34984982/.

The project Braun was referring to was Westbank’s Sewell’s Landing project, which the developer was found to have been marketing offshore before permits were even in place[3] https://globalnews.ca/news/2945647/horseshoe-bay-condo-development-to-target-local-buyers-only/.

It came to light recently that Westbank, owned by developer Ian Gillespie, is sponsoring the Asian Marine and Boating Awards Gala, held in conjunction with the The 23rd China (Shanghai) International Boat Show, days after a judge order another of Gillespie’s companies to pay $200,000 in unpaid bills to a local contractor[4]https://thinkpol.ca/2018/04/29/vancouver-developer-sponsoring-yacht-gala-china-stiffing-local-contractors/.

Leaked documents revealed last year how Westbank pre-sold nearly a quarter of all units of its Kensington Garden project, aggressively marketed in Hong Kong, to flippers[5]https://thinkpol.ca/2017/10/23/westbank-pre-sold-nearly-1-in-4-kensington-garden-condos-heavily-marketed-overseas-to-flippers/.

ThinkPol analysis of publicly available MLS data showed that speculators were flipping condo units at Vancouver House, another of Westbank’s other major development projects[6]https://thinkpol.ca/2017/11/23/more-than-1-in-3-yaletown-condo-sales-appear-to-be-flips/.

Ian Gillespie is a major donor and fundraiser for politicians at all levels of government, including Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and the ruling Vision Vancouver party[7]http://contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/SIGSearchResults.aspx?Contributor=IAN+GILLESPIE&EndorsedSK=0&Endorsed=(ALL)&EventSK=0&EventAlias=(ALL)&FilerTypeSK=0&FilerType=(ALL)&Class=0&OfficeSK=0&Office=(ALL)&JurisdictionTypeSK=0&JurisdictionType=(ALL)&JurisdictionSK=0&Jurisdiction=(ALL)&FilerSK=0&Filer=(ALL)&DateTo=&DateFrom=&DFYear=&DFMonth=&DFDay=&DTYear=&DTMonth=&DTDay=, both the BC Liberals and BC NDP[8]http://contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/SA1ASearchResults.aspx?Contributor=IAN+GILLESPIE&PartySK=0&Party=(ALL)&ClassSK=0&ClassificationName=(ALL)&DateTo=&DateFrom=&DFYear=&DFMonth=&DFDay=&DTYear=&DTMonth=&DTDay=, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Liberal Party of Canada.

References   [ + ]

1. Original: http://westbankcorp.com/michael-braun, archive: http://archive.is/cwqJ8
2. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/west-vancouver-real-estate-project-closes-locals-only-buying-period/article34984982/
3. https://globalnews.ca/news/2945647/horseshoe-bay-condo-development-to-target-local-buyers-only/
4. https://thinkpol.ca/2018/04/29/vancouver-developer-sponsoring-yacht-gala-china-stiffing-local-contractors/
5. https://thinkpol.ca/2017/10/23/westbank-pre-sold-nearly-1-in-4-kensington-garden-condos-heavily-marketed-overseas-to-flippers/
6. https://thinkpol.ca/2017/11/23/more-than-1-in-3-yaletown-condo-sales-appear-to-be-flips/
7. http://contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/SIGSearchResults.aspx?Contributor=IAN+GILLESPIE&EndorsedSK=0&Endorsed=(ALL)&EventSK=0&EventAlias=(ALL)&FilerTypeSK=0&FilerType=(ALL)&Class=0&OfficeSK=0&Office=(ALL)&JurisdictionTypeSK=0&JurisdictionType=(ALL)&JurisdictionSK=0&Jurisdiction=(ALL)&FilerSK=0&Filer=(ALL)&DateTo=&DateFrom=&DFYear=&DFMonth=&DFDay=&DTYear=&DTMonth=&DTDay=
8. http://contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/SA1ASearchResults.aspx?Contributor=IAN+GILLESPIE&PartySK=0&Party=(ALL)&ClassSK=0&ClassificationName=(ALL)&DateTo=&DateFrom=&DFYear=&DFMonth=&DFDay=&DTYear=&DTMonth=&DTDay=

5 Responses to “If the Chinese market doesn’t want it, I have no interest in it” – Vancouver developer

  1. nonconfidencevote says:

    Iain Gillespie
    Living proof political lobbying should be BANNED

  2. nonconfidencevote says:

    One wonders ( and hopes) that Mr Gillespie has leveraged himself and his company heavily in real estate speculation here in the Lower Mainland.

    Now that sales and prices are imploding to levels not seen since the infamous 1980’s

    Watching developer/speculators eat financial bankruptcy crow will be almost as good as seeing bankrupt Real Estate agents that pumped this Ponzi to unbelievable heights….go down in financial flames.
    And then get Audited.
    Happy housing crash everyone!
    We can all be homeless together.

  3. jorge tabasco says:

    Dont blame the developers much the chinese immigrants that jumped all the federal hoops to qualify. the credit goes all to federal government, immigrating policy and the country reputation, built by subsequent administrations,as save haven for crooked money.

  4. Kevin Hill says:

    Beautiful Vancouver is burning down and no politician seems like they want to put a stop on this. Blows my mind.

    • nonconfidencevote says:

      They only care about the perks, pensions and the money shovelled to then from developers……
      Time to BAN Lobbying.
      Time to make the punishment for illegally awarding licenses, permits, contracts to friends and business associates fit the crime…. serious jail time…. no probation, no “get out of jail free” card.

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