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Burnaby North

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Seven Peaks 39548 Loggers Lane Squamish 70 townhomes by Polygon Seven Peaks Ltd


Seven Peaks townhome project will be a first for Polygon in Squamish

Michael Bernard
The Vancouver Sun

Project: Seven Peaks, Squamish

Project location: 39548 Loggers Lane

Project Size/Scope: 70 three-bedroom-and-flex and four-bedroom townhomes built immediately adjacent to the town’s recreational centre. Located under an hour’s drive via Sea to Sky Highway to downtown Vancouver and 45 minutes to Whistler. Access to outdoors recreation, including hiking, cross-country skiing, paddle boarding and mountain biking

Prices: From low $699,900 for homes ranging from 1,485 to 1,795 sq. ft.

Developer: Polygon Seven Peaks Ltd.

Architect: Barnett Dembek Architects Inc.

Interior Design: Polygon Interior Design Ltd.

Sales Centre: 39548 Loggers Lane, Squamish

Centre hours: noon to 6 p.m., Sat — Thurs

Sales phone: 604-262-9354

Website: polyhomes.com/community/seven-peaks

Occupancy: Early 2018

With four girls and a boy in a blended family, mother Ashley Dempsey was taking no chances in getting exactly what she wanted in her new home.

So when she learned that Polygon was releasing another 12 homes after selling out 22 homes in just two hours in May, she set up her chair in front of its Seven Peaks development in Squamish the day before a Saturday release at noon. She had a realtor spell her off Friday night and rode her bike back the next morning from the family’s rented home nearby.

“They (Polygon) told me that some people had lined up (for the first release) and didn’t get one,” she said. “I said, ‘that wasn’t going to be me’, so I was going to be the first in line.’”

The wait paid off. “We got a three-bedroom end unit, which we are really excited about,” she said.

That kind of enthusiasm — assisted by Polygon setting up tents and heaters overnight and offering free coffee and breakfast for the hardy buyers — has been typical of the response to Polygon’s first project in Squamish, sales manager Grace Lim says.

“We had a lot of locals who have been watching us for months,” Lim said. “This is our first development here, and they are just amazed at what Polygon has got to offer: the quality of the finishings, the space, the whole overall style of the home makes it so livable for young families and couples.”

It was not difficult for Polygon, which has built thousands of homes throughout the Lower Mainland, to make the leap to Squamish, halfway between Vancouver and Whistler.

“Our team is always looking at new opportunities and places to build Polygon communities,” says Goldie Alam, senior vice-president marketing for Polygon Realty Ltd. “Squamish is a growing town that is extremely appealing to young families and is less than an hour drive from the city, so it seemed to be a natural fit for us to explore building there.

“It has the small-town vibe and neighbourhood friendliness that people look for in a community, and we’re so excited to be welcoming new homeowners to the area,” she said.

Census figures in 2016 put Squamish at 19,500 people with an average age of 37, compared to the provincial average of 43 years.

The West Coast contemporary style townhomes are decidedly more spacious than what one might find in Metro Vancouver, with the three-bedroom-and-flex and four-bedroom models ranging from 1,485 sq. ft. to 1,795 square feet. But even without knowing those numbers, a walk through the four-bedroom presentation suite tells you there is space to spare. All the three-level homes are 24 feet wide, giving the main living, dining and kitchen area the feel of a detached house, rather than a townhome.

All rooms have ceilings of at  least nine feet —some have 10-foot ones — with large windows that let in plenty of light. Bedrooms have built-in and walk-in closets and good-sized bathrooms. One show-home bedroom has enough height to accommodate a model railway train, whimsically suspended from the ceiling.

Even the garage has an over-height ceiling and ample room to fit two vehicles side by side, with room left over to store paddle boards, skis, kayaks and other toys typical among Squamish’s outdoor enthusiasts.

Outside, homes have back yards of varying sizes, allowing play space for small children and room for a family barbecue.

“We envisioned lots of couples and young families who value the natural setting and the abundant adventurous pursuits in the area,” Alam said.

“We knew there was interest from local Squamish buyers wanting a newer or bigger home and we also anticipated that we would attract buyers from Vancouver and the North Shore, people who are looking for more space for less money than in the areas they currently live in.”

That price gap is significant. For instance, Lim said, a 900-square-foot two-bedroom condo in Polygon’s Juniper complex in the North Shore’s Lynn Valley sold this month for $724,000. The first homes at Seven Peaks, with almost twice the area at up to 1,795 square feet, sold in the high $600,000s.

While some may see Squamish as a bit of a distant drive from Vancouver, others point out that the commuter trek — under an hour from downtown to downtown — as comparable to the daily journey living in Langley or South Surrey.

Lim notes that there is also an express bus that leaves Squamish at 7:30 a.m. daily, arriving at Waterfront Station an hour later, and a return service leaving Vancouver at 5:30 p.m.

Ashley, who founded the Modern Life Management personal concierge business a decade ago, is lucky to have a colleague who takes care of Metro Vancouver clients while she serves those from West Vancouver to Whistler.

She and her builder husband have rented a home in Squamish for almost three years, and she swears they would never return to their former life in a detached house in West Vancouver.

“We don’t ever want a house, ever. We love the townhouse lifestyle. It’s so easy. We don’t have to mow lawns or clean gutters. We don’t do any of that stuff. We lived in a house. We were spending our time on weekends doing that.”

She and her husband and their family are very active in the outdoors, doing everything from mountain biking or paddle boarding one weekend to skiing and hiking the next. Seven Peaks is also just across the street from Brennan Park Recreation Centre with a swimming pool and ice rink, and just 10 minutes away from downtown Squamish by bike along level trails separated from car traffic.

Flooring is laminate wood style through the main level with carpeting on other levels. Homes come in a light and dark colour scheme. The kitchen features polished engineered stone countertops and full-height limestone-inspired mosaic tile backsplash. The entertainment-sized island dominates the kitchen space, which also has under-mount double stainless steel sinks. The refrigerator is a 32-inch Samsung bottom-mount model with french doors and an ice maker. The gas range is a five-burner Whirlpool slide-in model. The dishwasher is also made by Whirlpool.

There is a powder room on the main level and two bathrooms on the bedroom level with a frameless glass spa shower in the ensuite and stone countertops. A side-by-side washer and dryer combo is conveniently located on the upper level.

© 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.



BC Home Sales to Exceed 100,000 Units for Third Consecutive Year

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Only strata corporation can collect penalties on recoverable costs


Strata corporations deal with two types of debts

Tony Gioventu
The Province

Dear Tony: I have recently become the treasurer of our strata council. In reviewing the correspondence to collections, a number of owners have complained about the strata management company back charging them for administrative or service costs. 

We have nothing in our contract with the management company that permits it to charge owners service costs. In most cases, this is simply a $50 service that has been added to simple maintenance or repair bills when owners have required repairs to their strata lots, or a service technician was sent out by the property manager to complete fire safety inspections.

We now have one owner who refuses to pay the $50 service charge, and the management company has added it to their account, placing them into arrears and requested we authorize a lien be filed under the bylaws.

We’re not sure how to collect this amount or if it is even fair or legal.  

James M.

Dear James: It is helpful to understand that your strata management company is under contract as your agent. Under an agency agreement, it is essentially acting as you the strata corporation with the authority and limitations imposed by the Strata Property Act, the strata management contract or the instructions of strata council.

The management company has no authority to bill owners directly for its services as its contract is with you the strata, not each individual owner. Likewise, it has no authority to impose any penalties or surcharges on recoverable costs. Only the strata corporation may attempt to recover costs such as strata fees, special levies, interest authorized in bylaws or three-quarters vote resolutions, damages, fines, penalties, insurance deductibles or costs relating to work orders. 

With these limitations in mind, even strata corporations are not permitted to charge or impose service or administration costs. Most strata management companies are doing this correctly. 

Your bylaw that determines that any debts owed will be applied to an owners account and paid first from strata fees is also a problem. Court decisions have made it clear that bylaws that attempt to prioritize debts that are not lien-able or charge administration costs are not enforceable. 

It is important for owners to remember there are two different types of debts owed to a strata corporation: Secured debts (fees) that a strata can file a lien against the strata lot for, such as strata fees, special levies, interest and work orders, and unsecured debts, which are essentially claims that someone has violated a bylaw, caused an insurance claim or damages to the common property.

The two different types of debts must be accounted for separately if the strata corporation is going to be successful in collecting unpaid secure debts, and any debts that relate to bylaw enforcement, damages or insurance deductibles will require a claim be filed with the Civil Resolution Tribunal or the courts to obtain a decision or judgement for the amount owing. 

Even with a court or tribunal decision, those types of unsecured debts will rank low in priority after family maintenance enforcement payments, taxes, strata fees and levies, mortgages and other debts registered on the title.

An important item that appears to be a misunderstanding: Even if you do receive a decision or judgment for unpaid bylaw fines, administrative fees, damages or insurance deductibles, your strata corporation cannot file a lien against the strata lot for those amounts.       

© 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.



Platform 87 Moody Street, Port Moody 104 condos, townhouses and live-work lofts by Aragon Properties


Community of condos, townhomes and live-work lofts uses both rustic and soft materials

Mary Frances Hill
The Province

Platform

Where: 87 Moody Street, Port Moody

What: 104 homes, including condos, townhomes and live-work lofts

Residence sizes and prices: studios, one, two and three bedrooms, 560 —1,612 square feet, starting at $409,900 for a junior one- bedroom, two bedrooms starting $653,900 and three-bedroom townhomes at $899,900

Developer and builder: Aragon Properties

Sales centre address: 2708 St. Johns Street, Port Moody

Sales centre hours: Call or register at www.aragon.ca/platform to book your private appointment

At Platform, Aragon Properties’ community of condos, townhomes and live-work lofts in Port Moody, Maria Zoubos shows she’s as much a designer as a story teller.

In the display spaces, she uses what she calls a “light industrial” décor theme to illustrate the traits of the surrounding historic community and reflect the desires of people who want to immerse themselves in character and warmth.

There’s no better way to reflect both of these elements than through this décor, says Aragon’s in-house designer, describing it as “a combination of hard rustic materials such as reclaimed woods or metals with softer, more refined elements.”

To illustrate this theme, she takes typical features and softens them with texture. Characteristics of light industrial can be seen in the stained oak planks, which offers a depth and richness through the colour and grain, she adds. Also, black accents reflected in the hardware and plumbing fixtures are softened by the matte texture of kitchen cabinet doors.

Throughout the display space, she pairs strong elements with soft ones in the more classic features. Glossy subway tile is applied with contrasting grout, and a cable-knit area rug and soft upholstery “help add richness and a sense of comfort to the space that would otherwise feel very cold,” Zoubos says.

“We took industrial elements such as the rich woods and black hardware and contrasted them with the soft cabinetry and modern quartz countertops.”

As is the practice in other Aragon projects, the bricks that adorn the walls in Platform will come from a character building that is either going through renovations or coming down. Recent Aragon projects had the developer repurposing bricks from the 1912-era Continental Hotel on Granville Street. The use of brick adds a history, a depth and character to the new homes, Zoubos says.

 “Repurposing the bricks and having them incorporated into someone’s new home is a process that our homeowners agree is really special,” she says.

“The colour scheme shown in the display suite shows this contrast of urban city comforts and industrial accents beautifully.”

Port Moody’s roots lie deep in the sawmill and forest products industry, while today it has such urban amenities as the SkyTrain Evergreen Line expansion, craft beer sites and Suter Brook Village, a shopping hub.

© 2017 Postmedia Network Inc



Plaza of Nations site pitched as vibrant waterfront neighbourhood for Vancouver


Plaza of Nations site gets a revamp

Derrick Penner
The Province

A new proposal for the Plaza of Nations site on False Creek calls for development of 1,400 housing units on a 10-acre site that would link Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside to the waterfront.

The residences, 20 per cent of them to be provided as social housing, would be in terraced, garden-topped buildings in the proposal from Canadian Metropolitan Properties Corp., a Vancouver company owned by Singapore billionaire Oei Hong Leong.

The concept includes a civic plaza, new waterfront restaurants and stores, a 69-place daycare centre, and a community centre with ice rink intended to be a practise facility for the Vancouver Canucks.

Oei said all of the marketing of the units would take place in Vancouver.

“Other developers have marketing offices in China, in Hong Kong, but we don’t,” Oei said on Wednesday. “We can’t stop overseas buyers coming here, but we don’t have any promotion overseas.”

The proposal is a departure from the 2012 application that Oei’s company submitted to the city. Project architect James Cheng said the city’s decision to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts sent them back to the drawing board.

“The stars are all aligned right now,” Cheng said in an interview. Removing the viaducts, he said, “opens up the entire neighbourhood at this end of False Creek.”

It turns the Plaza of Nations land, which Oei bought for $40 million in 1989 from Li Ka-shing, into a more important hub in the City of Vancouver’s plan to redevelop northeast False Creek.

Oei, a part-time resident of Vancouver, said he bought the land “for my retirement,” and looks forward to developing what he hopes will be a landmark piece of the city.

“It is also very important how it serves the community,” Oei said. “James Cheng has good ideas (for) it.”

Cheng said that in the concept, the buildings are gently terraced to frame views of B.C. Place Stadium and Science World.

“Mr. Oei has always wanted to give back to the community, so the whole idea of the project is to blend in with the city but at the same time be iconic,” Cheng said.

Oei is in a legal dispute with Concord Pacific — he filed suit against the developer last year claiming that the competing firm was trying to constrain his development options on the site.

Canadian Metropolitan’s senior vice-president, Daisen Gee-Wing, wouldn’t comment on the lawsuit because it is before the courts, but said “we are confident we’re going to proceed with development.”

 

From the city’s perspective, the Plaza of Nations redevelopment is a chance to complete northeast False Creek “in a very different and interesting way,” said Kevin McNaney, the city’s project director for the area.

“We’ve done a lot of False Creek that’s residential with the seawall and people going by, but it doesn’t really have a lot of life,” he said.

“This is a real opportunity for some south-facing waterfront to create a vibrant commercial district on the water and really enhance the sports, stadium and special events functions (of the area),” McNaney said.

The proposal is conceptual, so there are no prices or specifications for market housing on the site yet.

McNaney said the social-housing component of the development will fall within city definitions for affordability. He said the city will seek to “maximize affordability and decrease rents as much as possible.”

The surrounding neighbourhood is already expensive, but McNaney said the size of the Plaza Nations site will likely provide “diversity” of price points. He added that Canadian Metropolitan has made a point of planning for larger, family-oriented units in the development.

Gee-Wing said Canadian Metropolitan is hoping to hear from the city on its application by fall, which would pave the way for public hearings in late 2017 or early 2018. If all goes well, the company could start construction by early 2019.

© 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.



BC sales set to exceed 100,000 again this year


Steve Randall
REP

Despite a decline in home sales in British Columbia this year, total sales are still forecast to exceed 100,000 for the third consecutive year.

The BC Real Estate Association is expecting 101,000 sales for 2017, down 10 per cent from the record high of 112,209 in 2016. This remains well above the 10-year average of 84,700 units.

“The province is in its fourth year of above-trend economic growth,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Strong employment growth, consumer confidence and an influx of inter-provincial migrants are important drivers of the housing market this year. In addition, with the millennial generation now entering their household forming years, the condominium market in major urban centres is experiencing pressure on supply.”

Spring activity has been strong as government measures to cool the market have started to dissipate.

Prices are expected to end 2017 down 1.1 per cent to an average $683,500 before gaining 5.2 per cent in 2018 to reach $719,100.

Copyright © 2017 Key Media Pty Ltd