Langley’s Eric Woodward to transfer tens of millions in Fort Langley property holdings and development profits to charitable foundation.
Three Fort Langley pending mixed-used commercial development sites and existing holdings of Eric Woodward’s Statewood Properties Ltd. will be irrevocably transferred to the newly-formed Eric Woodward Foundation beginning in 2019. These holdings currently represent a combined value of approximately $55 million.
With the eventual redevelopment of the three pending development sites, the Foundation’s assets will grow to well over $100 million within an anticipated timeline of 10-15 years, with annual cash flow of millions of dollars per year.
Local charities and causes will become the beneficiary of all future development and indefinite rental profit related to three Fort Langley development assemblies on Glover Road between Mavis Avenue and 96th Avenue, which will be indefinitely overseen by an independent Board of Directors of mostly Fort Langley residents, for up to 100 years or more.
"Late last year, when I announced to Fort Langley residents that development advocacy by me personally would cease, I immediately began the process of planning a new foundation and charitable direction to be overseen by local Fort Langley residents," said Woodward. "I am excited to finally announce the foundation which will accrue long-lasting benefits to all of Langley and specific causes well beyond me and my lifetime in ways I always intended, and deeply believe in. For me, it has always been about making Fort Langley truly special, renewed and vibrant, and a collection of amazing destinations for everyone, not about development for development’s sake.
"The development profit and rental income from any future development will go to registered charities and qualified causes within Greater Langley. This way, the community will benefit from the ongoing revitalization of Fort Langley, and we will safeguard key principles for its management for future generations, for Fort Langley to truly remain ‘somewhere different.’"
Initially, three acres of mixed-use commercial and multi-family properties in the heart of Fort Langley worth an estimated $18 million will be transferred from Woodward’s Statewood Properties Ltd. to the Eric Woodward Foundation. All holdings, including the LEED Gold Coulter Berry Building, will be transferred to the Foundation within 10-15 years, given the tax liabilities and numerous technical complexities involved.
The development sites and their future redevelopment will now be overseen by the Board of Directors of the new Eric Woodward Foundation, which will be publicly accountable under the leadership of the founding Chair Tom Kirstein, former Mayor of White Rock and Chartered Accountant, FCPA, FCA. The following Fort Langley residents have all agreed to volunteer to serve as founding Directors of the new charitable foundation:
Gareth Abreo – 66 Avenue – President, Fort Langley BIA
Frank Cox – Casimir Street
Barry Dashner – Francis Avenue
Shona De Guzman – Francis Avenue
Kelly Holmes – Wright Street
Maureen Rose – Bedford Trail
Rob Rose – Bedford Trail
Eric Woodward – Glover Road
When Eric originally told me of his plans, I had just witnessed similar philanthropy in Tasmania. I would hope that Eric might now be better understood as a true philanthropist and truly community-oriented, instead of as a ‘developer’, which he really is not. We may take a short while to tie up all the legal agreements and work through all many details, but the Foundation directors would not be volunteering their time unless they were certain these plans will become a reality soon, to the benefit of all residents of greater Langley," said Kirstein.
The new foundation will proceed sometime within the next few years to attempt redevelopment of new mixed-use commercial buildings on Glover Road between Mavis Avenue and 96 Avenue, and on McBride Street, starting with the now derelict 1.6-acre site at the corner of Mary Avenue and Glover Road, in the heart of Fort Langley.
The Foundation’s developments will be guided by core principles to ensure the pedestrian character of Fort Langley Village, quality construction and environmental stewardship. They will contribute to a valued sense of community, such as no chain stores, supporting small business owners, and achieving a balance of retail and family destinations operated by locals invested in their community. The principles are epitomized by the already completed LEED Gold Coulter Berry Building, and the new Foundation will ensure these guiding principles carry on indefinitely.
"My current holdings in Fort Langley, including three development sites, represent almost 40 percent of the Fort Langley commercial core, and 80 percent of commercial property in the heart of Fort Langley from 96th Avenue to Mavis Avenue, along Glover Road,” said Woodward.
"It is critically important to me that as a community we get it right. Imagine what the possibilities are when community, not profit, is the goal. Imagine dining at a restaurant or shopping at a local boutique knowing that rental income will benefit your local hospital or go towards scholarships for at-risk youth.
Imagine a radically different approach our community’s renewal that is based on village character, pedestrian-orientated principles, environmental responsibility, all for the benefit of all," added Woodward.
I am thrilled to be a part of something so unique and special, with such an amazing opportunity for much of the prime commercial real estate in a small village to be run in this way," said Kirstein. "The potential for enormous good to so many in need within Langley is not easy to fully fathom at this stage," he added.
Media Contact:Chella Levesque