October 2019 – Making Waves

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1173482

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OCTOBER 2019 BCBUSINESS 17 ISTOCK H ow much would you pay for the Lions Gate Bridge? Assuming, you know, you were in the mar- ket? Stanley Park, too. You'll want to have a nice setting for your new toy. First, remember to examine the credentials of the sellers. There's a long history of people offering to sell bridges without having proper title. But there's also a legitimate span-selling precedent—in 1962, Robert McCulloch purchased London Bridge for US$2.46 million and had it shipped to Lake Havasu City, Arizona (at a cost of US$7 million), and reassembled. So assuming the business cards look legit and the phone numbers connect to Victoria, the next question is price. Recent conventions of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors ( RICS) have featured speculative valuations of famous North American land- marks, and since this year's event was held in Vancouver, two expert appraisers did their best to calculate the value of these local treasures. Andrew Rurak, chief es- timator with the Richmond office of engineering firm Dragados Canada, set out to estimate the price of the bridge, while Barden Prisant, president of New York–based International Art Advisors, was tasked with summing up the retail value of Stanley Park. (All figures are in Canadian dollars except where indicated.) Rurak examined the his- tory of the Lions Gate, origi- nally funded and owned by the Guinness family (a 1927 bridge- building plebiscite failed, but a 1933 rerun that held the promise of Depression-era jobs passed). The project began March 31, 1937, and was com- pleted 18 months later. Tolls paid off the initial cost, and in 1955 the Guinness family sold the structure to the province for just under $6 million (essen- tially the cost of construction). There were further tolls to earn back that purchase price, end- ing in 1963. Value Judgment Putting a price on the Lions Gate Bridge and Stanley Park yields some big numbers—even with a deep discount by Steve Burgess L A N DM A R K S ( the informer ) O N T H E R ADA R BRIDGE FINANCING These Vancouver jewels aren't for sale, but we could't help wondering... SHIPPING EXTRA So you've purchased Stanley Park and the Lions Gate Bridge, but you're still in the mood to shop. What else might be on your list? Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors conventions in various cities have featured other evaluations of famous landmarks and facilities. A few prices, in ascending order (all figures in U.S. dollars): 1. The White House: $250 million (the land is unzoned and may be undevelopable) 2. Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field: $2.5 billion 3. Tower of London (and the Crown Jewels): $5.5 billion 4. Disney World, Orlando: $5.5 billion 5. NASA Mission Control Center, Houston: $5.7 billion 6. CN Tower, Toronto: $6.4 billion 7. Brooklyn Bridge, New York: $66 billion 8. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco: $80 billion

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