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The Wex at 20829 77A Avenue Langley a 94 unit 9-storey building by RDG Management Ltd

The Wex: At the heart of one of Langley?s most desirable destinations

Robin Brunet
The Province

Increasingly, The Wex from RDG Management is being recognized as providing THE Willoughby EXperience, a reference to the Langley neighbourhood in which the 94-unit condominium development is located.

And for good reason: with a bracing mix of new and established business and retail, residential and recreational opportunities, Willoughby has become one of Langley’s more desirable destinations for professionals and young families.

Consider: The Wex residents have easy access to the sprawling indoor shopping mecca of Willowbrook Mall, the nearby Colossus movie theatres, the heritage and boutique stores of Fort Langley, and the numerous wineries, breweries (including Trading Post Brewing) and walking/riding trails throughout the Fraser Valley, all framed by snow-capped mountains on the horizon.

The Wex itself is located smack in the middle of the new Willoughby Town Centre, which contains high-end pizzeria and coffee shops, brand names such as No Frills Grocer and Shoppers Drug Mart Boutique, Spa & Nail Bar – with more businesses and services soon to come.

In short, THE Willoughby EXperience means being at the centre of it all – which is why demand for The Wex’s urban condos have been so strong. But even though the one-, two-bed/two-bath plan has already sold out, Melanie Themmen, sales manager with Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing Ltd., says: “We still have some great homes available, many of them on the top floor.”

Themmen adds that the best way to experience everything The Wex and Willoughby Town Centre have to offer is to attend a block party Fifth Avenue is staging on Sunday, March 26 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. “We’re going to have live entertainment, beer tasting, and lots of food and snacks from local vendors,” she says. “It’s our way of showing that first-time buyers all the way to downsizers can still be part of this unique lifestyle development.”

Guests will also see first-hand the attention to detail that is going into the creation of this five-storey complex, starting with its West Coast-style spanning overhangs, oversized windows, glass balconies and stone-accented siding. The one-bedroom condos right up to the two-bedroom-with-flex homes have nine-foot ceilings, solid-core Cambridge entry doors, floor-to-ceiling cabinets in shaker or high-gloss panel style, main baths with square-edge cabinets and quartz countertops, and master bedrooms with walk-in closets and spa-like ensuites.

Even more remarkable is the price: an 858-square-foot two-bedroom, one- bathroom with a top-floor view is available for only $344,900, while a top- floor two-bed/two-bath-and-flex is going from just $364,900.

This may be the final chance to live THE Willoughby EXperience in a quality designer condo built by RDG Development by getting in at The Wex. “So to all prospective buyers, please RSVP us – and join the party,” says Themmen.

© 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.

The Crossing at 246 171st Street South Surrey 67 townhomes by Gramercy Group

Gramercy?s The Crossing proving to resonate with homebuyers

Robin Brunet
The Province

With only 13 homes remaining, The Crossing by Gramercy has attracted buyers from all over Metro Vancouver. And even though its appeal is manifold, families moving east from areas such as Kitsilano have been especially vocal in praising The Crossing’s unique location and benefits.

The 67 townhomes in South Surrey are situated in a cosy nook of dense woodland, quiet streets and estate homes. This small region, steeped in agricultural tradition, is known as Pacific Douglas. This location has an iconoclastic vibe that comes from residents knowing they’re in a magical place, where children can play freely and curfews have been replaced by the setting sun.

Like Kitsilano residents, The Crossing homeowners are close to the beach: the sandy shores of White Rock. There’s also easy access to shops in the form of eclectic hot spots along the waterfront, big-box retail in Grandview, boutique stores in Morgan Crossing, a variety of restaurants (including My Shanti by renowned chef Vikram Vij), and services.

Pacific Douglas is a golfer’s paradise, flanking the Peace Portal Golf Club and the Hazelmere Golf and Tennis Club, just a few minutes away. In fact, the final 13 homes at The Crossing – all of them four bedrooms – are street-facing on a peaceful cul-de-sac near the golfing green.

As for the homes themselves, the exteriors are classic East Coast with wood shutters on the windows and arched portico entries. The interiors are characterized by open living spaces and elegant touches in the kitchens and bathrooms, such as high-arc faucets, classic subway tile backsplashes and deep soaker tubs.

There’s much more: shaker-panel cabinetry, soft-close doors and drawers, oversized porcelain tile flooring. As a company that strives to provide homeowner convenience, Gramercy also offers 12 months of free TELUS high-speed Internet 15 with wireless router and modem, as well as 12 months of free TELUS Optik TVs Essentials package, a choice of two theme packs and PVR.

Neighbourhoods that are truly iconoclastic are becoming increasingly rare as Metro Vancouver’s population steadily increases, and normally, living in such a location comes at a price. Fortunately, that price is a nice surprise: the four-bedroom homes — each with three full bathrooms and powder room — start at $689,900 for 1,736 square feet and rise to 1,948 square feet.

The only limiting aspect of The Crossing is the window of opportunity for people curious about living in this neck of the woods. Once the remaining townhomes are sold, there aren’t any other new townhome communities in Pacific Douglas to choose from.

Therefore, the time to act is now. For more information about the Crossing’s final release of homes, contact thecrossing@gramercy.ca or call 604-542-2883.

© 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.

Only the chair can determine voting eligibility

Perceived conflict does not render owner?s representative ineligible to vote

Tony Gioventu
The Province

Dear Tony:

I was the developer on a recent project and sold the 18 residential units and retained two commercial units as our head office.

We gave notice of the first annual meeting as soon as 50 per cent of the units were sold and have fully complied with the act. In addition to the approval of the annual budget, the owners requested a number of bylaws be added to the first AGM to deal with parking, storage lockers and barbecues on balconies. As the developer, we agree to add the items to work cooperatively with the strata.

At the first AGM last week, an owner who has been bullying everyone refused to allow our representative exercise the vote for our two commercial strata lots. She claimed that as the developer, we were in a conflict of interest because we still owned units in the strata. This has occurred before and we understand this is not valid, but would appreciate a column to address the issue of conflict of interest at an annual or special general meeting that may affect voting rights.  


Dear CWR:

Denying someone a voting right as a proxy holder for any reason that is not permitted by the Strata Property Act is a serious matter for the strata corporation.

There is no such provision in the act about conflict of interest. The act deems a person may be ineligible to vote for a strata lot for two reasons.

It applies a court action specifically against an identified strata lot where that strata lot is not permitted to attend those portions of a meeting where the lawsuit is discussed and voted on; and if a strata has a bylaw that establishes voting eligibility, if the strata is entitled to file a lien against a strata lot. These applications may only apply to a majority vote or 75-per-cent vote. 

Strata councils or managers who are administering the registration desk often believe they have the authority to determine if a proxy is valid or not and whether a person is an eligible voter.  They do not. The chairperson, whether as president or vice-president of council or elected by the eligible voters present, is the only person with the authority to deem whether a strata lot is an eligible voter and whether a proxy meets the requirements of the act. 

Proxies must be in writing and signed by the person (owner) appointing the proxy. The owner may impose other conditions or directions on the proxy but the strata cannot.  If the proxy or voter is valid because neither of the two earlier conditions apply , the proxy is is exercised in the same manner as if the owner was standing there. 

It may be helpful to know that the bylaws of your strata will not be enforceable because both residential and non-residential strata lots must separately vote by 75 per cent vote to approve new bylaws for a strata corporation. By denying your proxies and voting rights, not only were your property rights denied, but the strata disqualified its ability to adopt and register new bylaws. 

Any owner may challenge the validity of proxy status or voting eligibility by applying to the Civil Resolution Tribunal. The tribunal has the ability to order a strata corporation to do or stop doing something. That could include a requirement for the strata to call new meeting to address the agenda items and respect your voting rights. 

© 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.

The Smithe 23-storey tower at 885 Cambie Street has 94 two and three bedroom homes by Boffo Developments

The Smithe has Space rich with eye-catching details

Mary Frances Hill
The Province

The Smithe

What:  23 storeys of residential space comprising 94 two-and three-bedroom homes, built on a sloped 15,000-square-foot site at Smithe and Cambie streets

Where: 885 Cambie Street, Vancouver

Residence sizes and prices: 1,000 – 1,429 square feet (not including penthouses), from $1.2 million

Developer and builder: Boffo Developments

Sales centre address: 1035 Seymour Street, Vancouver

Sales centre hours: noon — 6 p.m., daily

At the display space for The Smithe, Boffo Developments’ planned community of condominiums in downtown Vancouver, designer Scott Trepp responds to the tower’s architecture from the inside out — by embracing the potential of a bright space, bringing beauty to the smallest details and creating a centrepiece in the display space.

GBL Architects designed the building so each unit gets the most access to natural light as possible, thanks to view exposure.

At The Smithe, Boffo takes advantage of the tower’s architectural design to embrace that light with expansive windows and lofty ceilings.

“In Vancouver, it seems we are always eager to maximize light,” says Trepp, principal of Trepp Design Inc.

Boffo sales manager Karen West says the details in the décor get visitors talking, particularly with admiration of individual pieces such as the faceted mirror and a marble-topped dresser in the master bedroom, as well as the oval table in the dining room.

Indeed, Trepp and his team turn the living room and dining room open-concept area into the visual highlight of the display space, with that table, an Eero Saarinen classic, in the centre.
“Situated between the formal living room and the more leisurely family room, the table (along with the modern take on a chandelier) it anchors the space and creates a focal point,” Trepp says. Its form makes it easy for homeowners and guests to circulate between the eating and main living area and encourages socialization at meals.

Trepp’s team turned to Inform Interiors for the metal frame chandelier, a modern spin on a classic, made by Luceplan.

In a master bedroom suite, Trepp Design Inc. has installed a panelled wall treatment that envelops the room in warmth. The specialty product, made by wallcovering specialist Maya Romanoff, adds an uncommon artistry to the room.

“Unlike most wallpapers that are typically meant to provide an overall pattern, this finish is designed to provide a more panelled effect. To this end, we elected to use it on all of the walls of the bedroom, rather than on a single feature wall. The result is less graphic, more ethereal and very painterly.”

The texture and warmth continues with the living room’s white-tufted sectional, and an upholstered ottoman in place of a coffee table. “Given that the family room at the Smithe is a direct extension of the main living spaces, we elected to keep it as sophisticated, light and luxurious as the adjacent dining and living rooms.  However, by selecting more casual furnishings… the room blends the best of both form and function.”

In the living room, a big, bold photograph of Paris’ Champs-Elysées provides an eye-catching focal point. “[It] anchors one extremity of the open living, dining and kitchen areas,” Trepp says. “It adds a real sense of personality to the suite.”

© 2017 Postmedia Network Inc

Liberal budget released- These are the housing related promises

Jordan Press

Cities and affordable housing providers will find themselves with $11.2 billion more to spend on new and existing units over the coming decade, as part of the federal government’s multi-pronged push to help people find homes.

Of that money, which comes from the government’s social infrastructure fund, $5 billion will be allotted to encourage housing providers to pool resources with private partners and to allow the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., to provide more direct loans to cities.

The funding falls short of the $12.6 billion the mayors of Canada’s biggest cities requested last year and Wednesday’s federal budget shows that the majority of the $11.2 billion isn’t slated to be spent until after 2022.

Over the next 11 years, the Liberals pledged $202 million to free up more federal land for affordable housing projects, $300 million for housing in the North and $225 million to support programs that provide units to indigenous peoples off reserve.

The money, coupled with $2.1 billion for homelessness initiatives over the next 11 years, sets the financial backbone for the Liberals’ promised national housing strategy that will be released in the coming months. The document will outline how the government plans to help people find affordable housing that meets their needs, and ensure a robust emergency shelter and transitional housing system for those who need it.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau told reporters the spending will make a difference for those who rely on social housing. He said the Liberals want to ensure cities can access funds as quickly as possible to make necessary investments in the country’s stock of aging affordable housing.

The details are among many laid out in the budget, which outlines how the government plans to spend the $81 billion it is making available between now and 2028 to address future infrastructure needs and, the government hopes, boost the economy to create new jobs and government revenues.

It also gives $39.9 million over five years for Statistics Canada to create a national database of every property in Canada. This will include up-to-date information on sales, the degree of foreign ownership and homeowner demographics and finances to answer lingering questions about the skyrocketing cost of housing that may squeeze middle-class buyers out of the market.

The Liberals clearly see a need to attract private investors to help pay for infrastructure projects, including affordable housing, given the federal government’s tight fiscal position.

At the centre of that push is a proposed new infrastructure bank that would use public dollars to leverage private investment in three key areas: trade corridors, green infrastructure and public transit.

The government is setting aside $15 billion in cash for the bank, split evenly between each of the aforementioned funding streams, with spending set to start as early as the next fiscal year on projects based on budget projections.

Morneau said that the government wants to have the bank up and running this year, including having some projects that will be identified for investors.

But the budget document again projects that the majority of the bank’s spending won’t happen until after 2022. And in the case of trade corridor infrastructure, spending isn’t expected to start until 2020, even though some experts argue this stream would give the country the biggest economic bump.

The Liberals are also tweaking how much of the bill it will cover for municipal projects under the second phase of its infrastructure plan in order to nudge provinces to pony up more money for work and to prod cities to consider using the bank for projects that could generate revenue, like transit systems.

The government will cover up to 40 per cent of municipal projects under the upcoming phase of its infrastructure plan, 50 per cent for provincial projects and 75 per cent for indigenous projects.

Copyright © 2017 Key Media Pty Ltd

Richmond construction company sues Vancouver Trump Tower developer

Trump Tower developer facing lawsuit

Sam Cooper
The Province

A Richmond construction company has sued the developer of Trump International Tower and Hotel, seeking almost $800,000 in alleged unpaid fees.

Last week in B.C. Supreme Court, Urban One Construction Management filed a civil claim against developer Holborn Group and related property holding company West Georgia, both of which are directed by Joo Kim Tiah, the son of Malaysian tycoon Tony Tiah.

Urban One’s action also names as defendants a number of condo owners in the glitzy Vancouver tower.

Urban One’s claim says that following completion of the project, Holborn has failed to pay Urban One “money due and owing in the amount of $765,632.”

Urban One is seeking a declaration of a builders lien in the amount of $835,059 against the Trump Tower property, and also the property of strata unit purchasers named in the suit.

The main payment allegedly outstanding — according to Urban One’s claim — is a $525,000 construction completion hold back that was due in mid-March.

Before Urban One’s claim, Holborn Developments (West Georgia) Ltd. had filed a notice of civil claim on Jan. 17 in B.C. Supreme Court with a list of more than 25 complaints about Urban One.

Holborn alleged that Urban One failed to establish a project schedule and properly supervise trade contractors. The claim said Urban One allowed sub-par work to pass, did not inspect appliances to make sure they were in good condition and misled Holborn about possible schedule delays.

But Urban One’s separate claim alleges that Holborn commenced legal action in January, “with the stated intention of retaliating against Urban One for Urban One (filing) a builders lien to secure payment.”

Urban One’s claim alleges that construction progress on the Holborn development was disrupted by “bullying and harassment.

“Holborn directed or knowingly acquiesced in a persistent and unjustified campaign of bullying and harassment of Urban One and its personnel by Holborn’s agent … which significantly disrupted Urban One’s orderly performance of the services,” the claim alleges.

Urban One alleges that in “breach” of their agreement, Holborn failed to pay contractors according to the terms of a construction contract and make timely decisions, so that “Urban One incurred significant delay and additional costs in performing the services.”

“Urban One has never previously filed a lawsuit against anyone,” Urban One’s management said in an emailed statement about the civil claim.

“Unfortunately, in this exceptional circumstance, litigation is our only option … With regard to a separate notice of civil claim filed in January by Holborn, Urban One notes that Holborn has not proceeded with service of that claim on Urban One … In the event that Urban One is served, we will vigorously defend the legal action and our reputation in court.”

Holborn CEO Joo Kim Tiah did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story.

None of the allegations in either legal claim has been proven in court.

Urban One’s claim against Holborn provides information on the background of some of the local and offshore investors named as defendants in the court action.

According to information from land title records cited in Urban One’s claim, condo investors declared occupations ranging from student to housewife to self-employed, to in one case, the senior national director of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

These condo owners have been named in the civil claim because Urban One is seeking to place a builders lien on the “purchase price holdbacks which were retained or should have been retained by the purchasers under their respective contracts.”

© 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.