Builder Eric Woodward at the Fortitude restaurant in his Coulter Berry building in Fort Langley. Woodward is preparing to transfer his Fort Langley holdings into a charitable foundation. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Langley builder to transfer assets into charitable foundation worth $100 million

Eric Woodward names former White Rock mayor to head foundation board

Langley builder Eric Woodward has announced plans to transfer his Fort Langley property holdings and development profits to a charitable foundation.

Woodward issued a statement saying three as-yet-undeveloped Fort Langley commercial development sites and existing holdings of his Statewood Properties Ltd. will be “irrevocably transferred to the newly-formed Eric Woodward Foundation beginning in 2019.”

The holdings represent a combined value of approximately $55 million, the announcement said.

With the eventual redevelopment of the three sites, he said the assets worth will grow to well over $100 million within an anticipated timeline of 10-15 years “with annual cash flow of millions of dollars per year.”

Woodward withdrew three development proposals earlier this year, saying municipal authorities in the Township were insisting on unreasonable restrictions.

At one point during the impasse, Woodward had a boarded-up property painted pink to register a protest, then changed it to grey after several weeks.

He has had billboard-sized photos installed on other boarded-up buildings.

READ MORE: No boutique hotel for Fort Langley

Woodward, who is considering running for Township council, said the foundation would address potential conflict of interest charges if he runs, but that was not why it is being created.

“(This is) not about a potential run for mayor at all,” Woodward told The Times.

“This plan will happen either way, run or not run, win or lose.”

Woodward said creating a foundation has been his long-term plan for years.

“For me, revitalizing Fort Langley was never about making more money,” Woodward said.

“I have enough. I only ever wanted to make a difference in revitalizing Fort Langley because Langley is my home, and because I could.”

READ MORE: Election 2018: Eric Woodward considers run for Township mayor

Local charities and causes will become the beneficiary of all future development and indefinite rental profit related to three Fort Langley development assemblies on Glover Road between Mavis Avenue and 96 Avenue, which will be indefinitely overseen by an independent Board of Directors of mostly Fort Langley residents.

“Late last year, when I announced to Fort Langley residents that development advocacy by me personally would cease, I immediately began the process of planning a new foundation and charitable direction to be overseen by local Fort Langley residents,” said Woodward.

“The development profit and rental income from any future development will go to registered charities and qualified causes within Greater Langley. This way, the community will benefit from the ongoing revitalization of Fort Langley, and we will safeguard key principles for its management for future generations, for Fort Langley to truly remain ‘somewhere different.’”

Initially, three acres of mixed-use commercial and multi-family properties in the heart of Fort Langley worth an estimated $18 million will be transferred from Woodward’s Statewood Properties Ltd. to the Eric Woodward Foundation.

All holdings, including the Coulter Berry building that opened in late 2016, will be transferred to the Foundation within 10-15 years, after the tax liabilities and “numerous technical complexities” are sorted out, Woodward said.

The development sites and their future redevelopment will now be overseen by the board of directors of the new Eric Woodward Foundation, chaired by Tom Kirstein, former mayor of White Rock (1979-1983).

The following Fort Langley residents will serve as founding directors of the new charitable foundation:

• Gareth Abreo – 66 Avenue – President, Fort Langley BIA

• Frank Cox – Casimir Street

• Barry Dashner – Francis Avenue

• Shona De Guzman – Francis Avenue

• Kelly Holmes – Wright Street

• Maureen Rose – Bedford Trail

• Rob Rose – Bedford Trail

• Eric Woodward – Glover Road

“When Eric originally told me of his plans, I had just witnessed similar philanthropy in Tasmania,” Kirstein said.

He was referring to the creation of Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), funded by David Walsh, a colourful Australian professional gambler, art collector and businessman, who spent a rumoured $200 million U.S. to build the museum and its art collection in his home state.

The story is similar, Kirstein said.

“Hometown boy comes back, makes some money, decides to invest it and do some good,” Kirstein said.

Kirstein said Woodward talked to him about the foundation more than a year ago.

“I think there’s a hidden philanthropist there,” Kirtsein said.

He said the foundation will assist “Langley-specific” charities working in health, education and help for the underprivileged.

The new foundation will seek to build new mixed-use commercial buildings on Glover Road between Mavis Avenue and 96 Avenue, and on McBride Street, starting with the now 1.6-acre site at the corner of Mary Avenue and Glover Road, in the heart of Fort Langley.

Woodward said his current holdings in Fort Langley, including the three development sites, represent almost 40 per cent of the Fort Langley commercial core, and 80 per cent of commercial property in the Fort Langley core from 96 Avenue to Mavis Avenue, along Glover Road.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Langley netminder makes ‘unbelievable’ saves in draw against Seattle

Trinity Western University women’s soccer team battled to a 0-0 draw to Seattle, while boys fell 2-0.

LETTER – Reverse its decision: Langley’s TWU shouldn’t bow to societal pressures

One woman disagrees with Trinity Western University making the code of conduct optional.

Final 40 seconds change the game for Langley Rams

The local football team fell 35-34 to the Vancouver Island Raiders, in a last-minute comeback.

Zoo celebrates 48 years in Aldergrove

Greater Vancouver Zoo actively involved in environmental enhancement projects

VIDEO: Saturday was devoted to the arts in Langley City

The 25th annual Arts Alive festival took over a main thoroughfare.

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read