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

Just Posted

The Oak Bay fire training tower came down May 10 after it was previously deemed not up to standard for modern training use. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Condemned fire training tower comes down in Oak Bay

Infrastructure taken down won’t hamper firefighter training

New changes are being proposed to four streets in James Bay to allow better access for cyclists. Residents have until June 11 to provide feedback. (Black Press Media file photo)
New revisions to James Bay bike lanes open for feedback

Routes on Government and Montreal streets planned for 2022

An elderly man having a medical emergency in Mount Douglas Park on May 13 was rescued by firefighters and paramedics with the help of ATVs. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Rescue team uses ATVs get man in medical distress out of Saanich park and to hospital

Cedarhill Road closed as firefighters, paramedics rescue man in Mount Douglas Park

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 11

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Most Read