15 Aug Western Living Magazine Article
Luxury Island Home Up for Auction
Check out your new dream home on Pender Island. It’s gorgeous, to start, and purchase proceeds go to the BC Cancer Foundation. Start your bidding.
When B.C. businessman Robert Conconi and his wife Diane first started building a house on their new Pender Island property, they had every intention of eventually calling it home. Situated along the edge of the island, the 2,662 square foot contemporary, cabin-like house was built on-site largely from lumber felled by their own construction work, and the couple spent years making sure their new home was everything they wanted.
But their plans changed when Robert was diagnosed with throat cancer—the same kind his own father suffered and died from 30 years before. Cared for at the BC Cancer Agency, Robert eventually made a full recovery, and was so thankful for the care he’d received that he donated their newly built home and property to the BC Cancer Foundation in 2013. It’s a unique donation that, according to Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer Lou Del Gobbo, has the organization very excited. “Usually what happens is the estate gets liquefied or monetized and we get the proceeds, so this is the first time we’ve actually received a gift of property this size,” he explains.
The finished home, valued at almost $1.5 million, is proof of the time and care the Conconi family put into it. The south facing, waterfront property offers spectacular views of the ocean and Otter Bay ferry terminal, and a wrap-around patio that’s accessible from all three of the home’s bedrooms provides front row seats for picturesque sunsets at night. The 4.38-acre lot is surrounded by the home’s namesake red, peeling arbutus trees, furthering the feeling of peaceful solitude that an island location already promises. Inside, light wood floors and beams further the comfortable, cabin feel of the home, while cherry wood cabinets and granite countertops in the kitchen provide a modern touch. Floor to ceiling windows bathe the main living space in plenty of natural light.
But even with its beautiful, minimalist design, the home spent approximately a year on the market with little results, causing the foundation to look into other options for selling the home. Their answer came in the form of The Garage Sale Luxury Auction House.
(TGS), a Kelowna-based company that auctions off luxury homes, and usually includes a charity component. The company spends months completing analyses to determine factors like market conditions and how a given home will perform in an auction setting before opening it up to pre-qualified bidders at an on-site auction. Interested buyers can also experience the home through live-in viewings, where they’ll be joined by a personal chef, a live-in host and 24-hour concierge service.
Madrona Grove is set to go up for auction on August 22 (all the proceeds will go to the BC Cancer Foundation), and the combination of the home’s island location and big-hearted owner has TGS founder and CEO Alex Lambert confident it will sell. “The fact that it’s been donated to the BC Cancer Foundation, that’s the biggest piece of the story that’s highly unusual and very unique to this property,” Lambert says. “That makes the work very meaningful for all of us, and it’s really exciting to be involved in something that can go towards cancer research.”
The significance of the story behind the home’s donation and what the proceeds will go towards comes across loud and clear, right down to TGS’ choice of a branding symbol for the home: three madrona leaves; one for Robert, one for Diane, and one for the BC Cancer Foundation. “It just seemed appropriate,” says Lambert.
Join in on the auction August 22 at luxuryauctionhouse.com
BY ALANA WILLERTON.
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