The $12.8 million house at 587 Vancouver Avenue in Penticton, nominated for several International Design Awards, is described as a property that “has been designed with an obsessive level of attention to detail.” (Jon Adrian / Kevin Chen Realty)

The $12.8 million house at 587 Vancouver Avenue in Penticton, nominated for several International Design Awards, is described as a property that “has been designed with an obsessive level of attention to detail.” (Jon Adrian / Kevin Chen Realty)

$12.8 million Penticton home listing sparks racist, hateful comments

Realtor Kevin Chen reported threats made against him to police

A luxury home in Penticton

listed for sale at $12.8 million has sparked many racist comments, including a threatening email against the realtors who listed the property.

The house, located at 587 Vancouver Avenue, listed by Kevin Chen and Matt Zhang from Vancouver-based Oakwyn Realty, has been on the market for almost a year now.

However, it wasn’t until the home was featured by the online Vancouver news publication Daily Hive that Chen and Zhang began to draw the ire of some locals.

Since the Daily Hive story ran in December 2020, Chen and Zhang have been subject to a slew of racist and hateful comments and remarks from Penticton locals.

In one case, an email sent directly to Chen Saturday, April 24, suggested that he “should be shot,” alleged he was involved in money laundering and threatened “dire consequences” should he not return to China.

Chen, who grew up in Canada and is originally from Taiwan, said he was taken aback by the email but not shocked considering the amount of anti-Asian racism seen in Canada recently.

Chen reported the email to the Penticton RCMP but so far no progress has been made on contacting the person who made the threats, according to Zhang. The Western News has reached out to the Penticton RCMP for more information but, has not yet received a response.

Zhang, who has also lived in Canada his entire life, said the email is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the racist and hateful sentiments they’ve had thrown at them since the Daily Hive story ran.

The racism is particularly perplexing to Zhang considering the home’s current owner is a Caucasian, Canadian man.

“We were just selected to list the house for him and ever since we listed it, if you look at the comments on the Daily Hive story, it’s been all racist comments,” Zhang said.

Zhang also noted that as realtors he and Chen are obligated to verify they are not dealing with potential money launderers through the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada.

“At the end of the day, we’re just the agents who are listing it. The owner is Canadian and we have verified the source. The client wanted to sell his dream home, and we’re here to market it to our best ability, it’s as simple as that,” Zhang said.

Anti-Asian racism has been on the rise in Canada since the start of the pandemic. In Vancouver, police data shows anti-Asian hate crimes have risen by 717 per cent since the start of the pandemic.

READ MORE: B.C. premier calls for action on hate crimes in wake of Vancouver police report

“Even since COVID, the surging racism in Vancouver and Canada has been insane,” Zhang said. “Honestly, at first, I just feel bad for those people (who make racist comments).

“It’s like ‘what did someone from my race do to you to make you assume all these terrible things about us?’ It’s just so unnecessary.”

Zhang said he understands if the property isn’t for everyone.

“It’s overkill but in the best ways possible, but if you think it’s too much just say that. Not everyone thinks the Mona Lisa is beautiful and that’s okay.

When you start bringing race into it and all these negative stigmas toward a certain race and just assuming that this person is Chinese and has dirty, laundered money, that’s where you cross the line… you’re just assuming those things because it’s expensive.”

The house is described as being “more like a boutique hotel than a residential home” and features seven patios spanning over 2,500 square feet, over $1 million worth of marble, over $1 million of custom furniture and an emerald green marble garage with a custom vehicle turntable.

“With 587 Vancouver Avenue, you’re not only purchasing a property, you’re buying a landmark, an architectural masterpiece with a priceless view,” reads the home’s website.

The home has received international recognition, including being one of the front runners for 2020’s “best luxury property international” and “best luxury property Canada” by the U.K.-based Design El Al Awards magazine.

“Everything in this house is designed with a level of detail that I’ve never seen in Canada,” Zhang said. “It’s one of those houses you really have to visit and see in person in order to appreciate it.”

To see more pictures and find out more about the property at 587 Vancouver Ave., visit the website for the listing at 587vancouver.com.

READ MORE: ‘No more hate and hurt’ was the message at Penticton rally against Asian racism



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

racismReal estate

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interfor’s Castlegar mill is getting $35 million in upgrades. Photo by: John Boivin
Interfor to invest $35 million at Castlegar mill

Project will enhance productivity and competitiveness

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

Paul Chung is working as an early childhood educator at Cornerstone Children’s Centre in Nelson. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Immigration pilot targets hard-to-fill jobs in West Kootenay

Program helps newcomers get permanent residency status in rural areas

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read