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South Burnaby Sikh temple for sale

Burnaby realtors Rav Rampuri and Leonardo Di Francesco specialize in the sale of churches and temples. One of their current listings is the Sikh temple at 7271 Gilley Ave. Asking price is just under $14 million. - Wanda Chow/NewsLeader
Burnaby realtors Rav Rampuri and Leonardo Di Francesco specialize in the sale of churches and temples. One of their current listings is the Sikh temple at 7271 Gilley Ave. Asking price is just under $14 million.
— image credit: Wanda Chow/NewsLeader

Burnaby realtors Rav Rampuri and Leonardo Di Francesco specialize in selling churches and their current listings include one of the largest such properties around.

The Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Sikh temple and community centre at 7271 Gilley Ave. is for sale. The asking price is just under $14 million.

While the land could be redeveloped into a commercial project under the current zoning or an industrial one under Burnaby's official community plan, the rarity of church properties makes it more valuable as a place of worship, Rampuri said.

It has a 19,000-square-foot building including a full commercial kitchen that sits on a 65,000-square-foot lot with 110 parking spaces. The hall can hold about 500 people.

Located at the corner of Gilley and Beresford Street, for years it's been the start and end point for the annual Nagar Kirtan Parade.

The two realtors helped the congregation sell their previous home, a little 5,000-square-foot building on Edmonds Street, about 13 years ago and got the call again.

The congregation is now at 2,700 members and they've outgrown their current facility, Rampuri explained. Its members plan to buy a parcel of industrial land elsewhere in Burnaby where they can build a bigger temple.

But first they have to sell their Gilley property.

"It's very rare to find sites this large," Di Francesco noted.

Rampuri said a new owner could build a second storey on the existing building and, if parking was moved underground, even more floor space could be built.

The congregation could move elsewhere while it builds a new home, he said, stressing the possession date doesn't depend on having a new temple in place. "If the price is right, three to four months."

The business partners also have another Burnaby church property for sale—Hindu Temple Burnaby at 3885 Albert St. near Ingleton Avenue in North Burnaby.

The asking price there is just under $2 million. For that, a buyer would get a 9,500-square-foot, three-storey building, again with a commercial kitchen.

This congregation has also outgrown its facility and is currently constructing a bigger temple on Marine Drive in South Burnaby.

The properties have seen a lot of interest but the right buyers have not yet materialized.

"We've got patience," Rampuri said. "It's a process we've mastered by our experience over the years."

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

twitter.com/WandaChow

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