East Shore Village ‘a welcome change’
Townhouses offered at condo prices
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
An artist’s rendering of the East Shore Village development.
The suites come with features such as a gourmet kitchen.