The Belmont at Heritage 22084 Fraser Highway Langley 55 condos in a 4 level wood frame building by Infinity Properties
Meeting the demand in Langley
The Vancouver Sun
The Belmont at Heritage
Project Address: 22084 Fraser Highway, Langley
Project Scope: 55 condominium homes ranging from one- to three-bedroom units in a four-level wood-frame building. Situated in the historic Langley community of Murrayville, about 45 minutes drive to Vancouver, but self-sufficient with major supermarket, community centre, farm market and several schools within walking distance
Prices: From $279,000 for units ranging from 717 sq. ft. to 1,529 sq. ft.
Developer: Infinity Properties
Architect: Burrowes Huggins Architects
Interior Designer: Jill Bauer Design
Sales centre: 22084 Fraser Highway, Langley
Centre hours: Noon — 5 p.m., Sat — Thurs
Sales phone: 778-277-1611
Occupancy: Fall 2018
In today’s volatile real estate market, keeping up with change sometimes means being nimble and willing to rip up your plans and go back to the drawing board. That’s exactly what the award-winning Infinity Properties did mid-stream with its newest 55-home multi-family condo development in the historic community of Murrayville in Langley.
“We noticed that after we had sold five units in The Belmont at Heritage, that people were really interested in the larger units, which went first,” said Jared Bouwman, development coordinator for Infinity Properties.
“So we did a quick analysis on the units that were being sold and the conversations that we were hearing on the sales floor and we thought, ‘Let’s make the bold move and let’s see.’”
That “bold move” was to reduce the total number of homes to 55 from 66 by combining a number of smaller units to create homes up to double the original sizes. Homes up to 1,529 square feet were created to meet what people were telling Infinity what they wanted.
Bouwman said the move was entirely counter-intuitive; developers are often looking for ways to increase rather than decrease a project’s density. “But it looked popular and we decided to go ahead and change the architectural drawings,” he said.
Those changes required some “pricing gymnastics,” but basically involved doubling the prices for the new consolidated units, he said.
While The Belmont at Heritage still has a number of suites in the 700-square-foot range, the majority are larger homes that are hitting the mark with local downsizers, who account for a majority of sales.
A key factor in changing the configuration of homes at Belmont was the simple fact that Langley residents were fetching more for the single-family detached homes they were leaving and were able to afford larger condo homes, Bouwman said.
Fraser Valley Real Estate Board figures show that the benchmark price for a single-family home rose more than 30 per cent to $871,600 from November 2015 to November this year.
Bouwman said it isn’t the first time that Infinity Group has changed its plans. Its Heritage executive townhome project next door won the prestigious Urban Design Insitute’s award this year for Best Residential project in the Fraser Valley. That project started as a fairly standard featured development until Infinity realized that the demand for master bedroom on the main had gone largely unmet in Langley.
“(With Heritage townhomes) we ran our numbers and we looked at some developments immediately adjacent and saw the absorption just wasn’t there,” he said. “We thought there was a pretty good itch in the market that wasn’t being scratched.”
Plans were changed to accommodate that demand for the master bedroom on the main level, he said.
Sales at Belmont have been brisk, with more than 60 per cent of the units being sold to date, Bouwman said. Increasing the size of the homes wasn’t the only thing Infinity learned on the sales floor. Potential buyers also indicated they wanted good soundproofing between suites, energy efficiency, and “clean air.”
Belmont suites are LEED certified, (short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the most popular green certification program used worldwide. The suites incorporate independently ventilated living spaces with HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) systems for lower energy bills, Energy Star appliances accounting for a 20-to-30=per cent annual energy saving, low-E vinyl windows and R20 insulation in the walls.
Despite having “Heritage” in its name, the architecture is decidedly West Coast modern both inside and out. All suites have nine-foot ceilings and either generous covered balcony or patio spaces with oversized windows to allow lots of light in.
Kitchens are equipped with stainless steel Whirlpool appliances, including a fridge with ice-maker, gas range, Venmar stainless steel chimney hood fan, dishwasher, front load washer and dryer, and a natural gas barbecue outlet on all balconies. Buyers can also opt for upgrades including over-the-range microwave, and a bar fridge with built-in cabinet in select homes.
Quartz countertops are used throughout the home, laminate wide planks in living areas and plush carpet in the bedrooms. Bathrooms are finished in oversized porcelain tiles with subway tiling in the kitchen. Optional upgrades include air conditioning, heated floors in bathrooms, built-in pantry cabinets in select homes, and a sliding barn door separating the den from the rest of the home.
Bathrooms have a frameless glass shower in the ensuite and soaker tubs in secondary bathrooms.
The complex comes with an amenity room with walk-out patio on the ground level, and all suites have 180 square feet of storage in gate-secured underground parking.
The larger homes were the main draw for John and Jeanie Robins, who were exactly the kind of people that Infinity Properties was targeting when it went back to the drawing board with Belmont.
The couple has lived in Langley for more than 40 years, first in a single-family home and later in a townhome.
“For a while after we retired, we moved to Westbank (in the Okanagan),” John said. “We have a large home on a golf course there, but unfortunately we were missing the grandkids so we moved back to Langley. When we moved to Westbank we had two grandchildren. Now we have seven.”
They began looking a few years ago for something easier to take care of, but found little that suited them until they learned about Infinity’s Heritage townhomes. “But by the time we realized they were building them, they were all sold out,” John said.
Impressed by the quality of workmanship at Heritage, they started following Infinity and learned of the company’s plan to expand the home sizes at Belmont. Ultimately, they purchased an enlarged Belmont home for $589,000.
“The neighbourhood was incredibly important to us,” said Jeanie, noting that the supermarket, community centre, drug store, hospital and other amenities are all within walking distance.
Equally important was the fact that they will be just a 12-minute drive to their grandkids.
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