East Shore Vil­lage ‘a wel­come change’

Town­houses of­fered at condo prices

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Recreation & Investment Properties - SUZANNE MORPHET

Half a dozen years af­ter the last ma­jor res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment in the small town of Sid­ney on Van­cou­ver Is­land, another one is on the verge of com­ple­tion.

East Shore Vil­lage of­fers 47 town houses in a wide range of sizes and prices in a multi-fam­ily de­vel­op­ment within easy walk­ing dis­tance of the ocean and pic­turesque down­town.

“I think it’s hun­gry for new con­struc­tion,” says re­al­tor Ja­son Leslie from RE/MAX Camo­sun of the town of Sid­ney, not­ing the Pier Ho­tel project back in 2007 was the last big res­i­den­tial ad­di­tion to the com­mu­nity.

It added 54 con­dos to Sid­ney’s al­ready well-sup­plied con­do­minium mar­ket.

Leslie says East Shore Vil­lage will be a wel­come change. “I think peo­ple are want­ing to get away from the idea of hav­ing one op­tion and that op­tion was buy­ing a condo (where) you’re trav­el­ling down shared halls, and this gives the buyer the chance to own a town­home at a condo price with the ben­e­fit of a front door and a lot of green space.”

The new de­vel­op­ment is tak­ing shape on a 1.75-acre lot in “a more ma­ture res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hood” once oc­cu­pied by a fish plant, says project man­ager Ge­orge Schell.

Neigh­bours have been anx­iously await­ing its com­ple­tion since the lot sat idle for about four years af­ter a pre­vi­ous de­vel­oper went into re­ceiver­ship.

The cur­rent de­vel­oper, Fario Cap­i­tal Prop­er­ties Ltd., was awarded the prop­erty by the court last year.

Fario Cap­i­tal Prop­er­ties is owned by the Kuster­mann fam­ily from Ger­many. Schell says they’ve built com­mer­cial real es­tate projects else­where on the B.C. coast, in­clud­ing Sur­rey and Camp­bell River.

The pre­vi­ous de­vel­oper’s plan for the Sid­ney lot was also res­i­den­tial, but with a de­sign and cost that Schell says wouldn’t work in to­day’s mar­ket. “It would have been stucco and red brick and that doesn’t say Sid­ney to me.”

When Fario Cap­i­tal Prop­er­ties took over the project last Au­gust, it hired a new team, in­clud­ing a new ar­chi­tect and builder.

“We’ve added to it and we’ve re­designed it, so it’s a more eco­nom­i­cal build,” says Schell.

“And we’ve got Knap­pett con­struc­tion and they know how to do things right to the penny. They’re in­cred­i­ble peo­ple.”

It’s also a dif­fer­ent look en­tirely. In­stead of brick and stucco, the town houses fea­ture nat­u­ral stone and Hardie board and Hardie plank ex­te­ri­ors for dura­bil­ity. The re­sult is more con­tem­po­rary.

“What we’re do­ing is we’re turn­ing some­thing that would have been com­pletely un­mar­ketable into some­thing that’s ob­vi­ously ap­peal­ing to the mar­ket be­cause we’ve had sales and we just started Aug. 18,” Schell says.

“That was our first day of sales.”

Schell at­tributes in­ter­est to an af­ford­able price point, with the small­est units — about 600 square feet — start­ing at $228,000. The most ex­pen­sive home is $589,000, net GST. It works out to about $340 per square foot on av­er­age

“Com­pa­ra­ble in the (Sid­ney) mar­ket place — and we’ve done a great deal of re­search on that — the most com­pet­i­tive we have is at $368 square feet, so we are be­low mar­ket.”

The town­houses are in clus­ters of 13 build­ings. With 11 dif­fer­ent floor plans, Leslie says buy­ers have lots of choice, in­clud­ing one-, two-or three­storey homes, each with se­cure un­der­ground park­ing — some­thing un­usual in Sid­ney — and a stor­age room.

“Some of the homes have 530-square-foot rooftop ter­races,” he adds, while 11 units con­tain le­gal suites for rent­ing out and four homes have been de­signed to ac­com­mo­date peo­ple in wheel­chairs.

Some­thing else buy­ers might find ap­peal­ing is the lack of re­stric­tions at East Shore Vil­lage com­pared with other strata de­vel­op­ments in Sid­ney, where age and pet re­stric­tions are com­mon.

At East Shore, says Leslie, “pets are wel­come, and there are no rental re­stric­tions and no age re­stric­tions.”

The tar­get mar­ket is peo­ple who work nearby, but com­mute from Vic­to­ria’s West Shore, where hous­ing is cheaper. But the six buy­ers so far sug­gest it’s not just work­ing lo­cals who will be in­ter­ested.

Leslie points to a re­tired nurse from On­tario who bought one of the units, sight un­seen. He’s also had in­quiries from as far away as Lon­don, Eng­land.

And while Sid­ney is not on the radar for in­vest­ment buy­ers, Leslie thinks it should be be­cause rental oc­cu­pancy rates are the low­est in the CRD (Cap­i­tal Re­gional Dis­trict) and rents are com­pet­i­tive.

“I know right now there are un­der 600 con­do­minium units in pre-con­struc­tion sales in down­town Vic­to­ria, so if I was an in­vest­ment buyer, would I buy a condo in down­town Vic­to­ria at a huge pre­mium and a higher oc­cu­pancy rate or would I buy at East Shore Vil­lage?” he asks.

The fact that Sid­ney is just min­utes from Vic­to­ria In­ter­na­tional Air­port and BC Fer­ries’ Swartz Bay ter­mi­nal adds to its ap­peal. It’s also about a half-hour drive to down­town Vic­to­ria. Sid­ney, B.C. PRICE: $228,000 to $589,000, in­clud­ing net GST. Monthly strata (condo) fees es­ti­mated from $121 to $379 per month, de­pend­ing on size of unit. POS­SES­SIONS: End of Oc­to­ber. IN­FOR­MA­TION: Ja­son Leslie at Re/Max Camo­sun. Call 250-4789600, or visit east­shore vil­lage.ca

East Shore Vil­lage

An artist’s ren­der­ing of the East Shore Vil­lage de­vel­op­ment.

The suites come with fea­tures such as a gourmet kitchen.

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