Ever thought of buying your own ghost town?
One just two hours north of Whistler, complete with proper zoning and functional properties, is on the market. Again.
Seven months after they bought it, Chinese investors are selling the town of Bradian because of changes to B.C.’s immigration rules, says the group’s realtor.
The former suburb of the gold mining town of Bralorne, Bradian has over 22 houses standing in reasonable condition, power lines and proper zoning for rural residential.
The China Zhong Ya Group Hebei Canada-China Co. bought the 20-hectare town for just under a million dollars last year, and Mills says they were planning on bringing more investors on board through the Provincial Nominee Program.
The program allowed people to immigrate to B.C. if they invested enough money in a business and could create jobs.
“That was the original plan with these investors,” says Mills.
“Part of the setup was we’re going to rebuild the town into the heritage condition. You would bring a person to run a motel, build houses, a convenience store, a bunch of specialty shops…and all of those people could invest and get the eventual profits.”
But the province put a hold on new applications in March because of an excess of applicants, and have since changed the qualifications. Mills says he’s now looking for a new group interested in restoring the site and turning it into a destination.
The group is asking for $1.2 million.
“It’s a market for that backcountry type of recreation, where people don’t necessarily want the glitz of Whistler, but want a nice place to stay and have a variety of things,” says Mills.
“You can cross-country ski, you can whitewater raft…you get a lot of snow in the wintertime, but it’s very temperate.”
PHOTO GALLERY: The ghost town of Bradian.
The town had been owned for 17 years by Tom and Katherine Gutenberg, a family who spent every summer in Bradian upgrading the old buildings with their children.
While they put the town on the market in 2010, it remained unsold for several years for a variety of factors. Bradian may be two hours from Whistler in the summer, but in the winter it’s only accessible through Lillooet. The sewage needs upgrading, and the roads would need to be repaved.
But there are few ghost towns close to a major city with many original buildings still standing.
“I’ve think I’ve looked and walked and talked on more ghost towns than any other person in Canada, and I’ve done this for years and years and years, and I can say that it’s the closest to a major city than any other area,” said John Lovelace, the former realtor for the town, last year.
When Global News did an update on the story, it sparked international attention on Bradian, with everyone from Vancouverites to reality TV shows inquiring about purchasing it.
Now, they’ll get a second crack at it.
“The town is basically there,” says Mills.
There’s so many different things to do, it’s just a matter of marketing.”
WATCH: Global first reported on Bradian in 2010