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Want to buy a town?

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  • Lanyon, Ryan
    Might be easier to buy a twon and convert it than build a carfree city from scratch:
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 14, 2004
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      Might be easier to buy a twon and convert it than build a carfree city from
      scratch:

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20040914/BCTO
      WN14/TPFront/TopStories

      Miner looks to sell B.C. ghost town

      Yours for $7-million: Pool, ocean view, absolutely no neighbours

      By PAUL WALDIE

      UPDATED AT 10:54 AM EDT Tuesday, Sep 14, 2004

      Rudy Nielsen has dealt with some unique properties in his 40 years of
      selling ranches and vacation homes around British Columbia, but he has never
      tackled anything quite like this before.

      Mr. Nielsen is selling an entire town, Kitsault, B.C., to be exact, and the
      asking price is $7-million. For that price, the buyer gets not only 92
      houses perched on a mountain's edge in a tranquil ocean inlet, nestled in a
      dense evergreen forest and surrounded by coastal mountain vistas, but also:

      Seven apartment buildings, containing 210 suites;

      One fully equipped hospital, with a never-used X-ray machine;

      Two recreation centres, complete with a swimming pool, gym, hot tub,
      racquetball courts, library, theatre, curling rink and Maple Leaf pub;

      A brand-new shopping mall that includes facilities for a liquor store, bank,
      post office and several specialty stores;

      More than 80 hectares of wilderness, including roughly one kilometre of
      beach.

      The town, about 140 kilometres northeast of Prince Rupert, has been
      abandoned since the nearby molybdenum mine closed in 1982. After a series of
      mergers, Kitsault ended up in the hands of U.S. copper giant Phelps Dodge
      Corp., and the company has decided to put the whole place up for sale.

      Kitsault "is not something we have any plans for, so it's an opportunity,"
      company spokesman Ken Vaughn said.

      "If there is someone out there with some plans to make good use of the
      property, then maybe we can help make that happen."

      Mr. Nielsen's company, Niho Land & Cattle Co., based in New Westminster, was
      recently retained to market the town, and so far he has attracted one
      interested buyer, a U.S. company that specializes in recreational property.

      Mr. Nielsen won't name the potential buyer, but said that "most people are
      going to look at this town to take the houses and sell them as single-family
      units in the $69,000 price range."

      He added that most of the houses have three bedrooms, full basements and
      fireplaces.

      The sale would end the short but colourful history of Kitsault, which once
      boasted 1,200 residents. The area has long been associated with silver
      mining and the gold rush. That changed in the 1960s with the discovery of
      molybdenum, an additive used in steel production.

      In 1978, Amax Canada Development Ltd., whose U.S. parent was the world's
      largest producer of molybdenum, acquired the site from a copper producer and
      announced plans to develop a $200-million mine at Kitsault.

      The project opened in 1981, after a bitter dispute with local natives over
      the disposal of waste from the mine, and the company spent $50-million
      building the town site. Soon there was a road to Terrace, B.C., almost four
      hours away by car, and regular flights to Prince Rupert.

      But the molybdenum market went into a tailspin, and in November, 1982, Amax
      announced a temporary shutdown. The mine never reopened, and in July, 1983,
      the last townsfolk departed.

      Mr. Nielsen said Kitsault is in remarkably good shape, considering how long
      it has been left alone. A caretaker employed by Phelps Dodge has been living
      on site for years and has kept most of the buildings heated and in decent
      condition.

      Power lines, telephone service and sewage connections are intact, he noted,
      and even the boulevards have been maintained.

      The X-ray machine in the hospital is still in its plastic wrapping, and the
      gym is in such good condition that the caretaker hosts an annual basketball
      match with his friends every New Year's Eve.

      Mr. Nielsen said he visits Kitsault regularly because he owns land in the
      area.

      "When you are walking the streets, there is nobody around, and it really
      gives you a weird feeling like, 'Holy smokes!' " he said, adding that he
      loves racing through stop signs at top speed.

      "You really feel like you are on another planet."
    • J.H. Crawford
      I love the part about racing through stop signs at top speed. :-( -- ### -- J.H. Crawford
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 14, 2004
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        I love the part about racing through stop signs at top speed. :-(



        -- ### --

        J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
        mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
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