When Colin Chin walks through the park­ing area at the Mar­i­nus at Plaza 88 condo project, he sees a near-empty lot. That tells the sales man­ager the New West project has achieved its vi­sion and be­come a model of sus­tain­able liv­ing.

Homes now sell­ing in the third of four Plaza 88 res­i­den­tial tow­ers, the Mar­i­nus highrise, in New West­min­ster


Mar­i­nus at Plaza 88

Project lo­ca­tion: 888 Carnar­von, New West­min­ster Project size: 256 con­dos in a 36-storey mixed-use tower Res­i­dence size: One-bed­room plus den, 631 sq. ft.; two-bed­room, 779 — 817 sq. ft.; and two-bed­room plus den, 1,152 sq. ft. Prices: $ 335,900 ( one-bed­room and den) — $ 536,900 ( two-bed­room and den) De­vel­oper: Degelder Group and Char­ter Pa­cific De­vel­op­ments Ar­chi­tect: Via Ar­chi­tec­ture In­te­rior De­sign: McCutcheon De­sign Group Inc. Sales cen­tre: 901 Columbia St. Hours: noon — 5 p. m., Sat — Thur Tele­phone: Colin Chin, sales man­ager, 604-683-6128 Web: www.mar­i­nus­liv­ing.com Oc­cu­pancy: Im­me­di­ately; fourth Plaza 88 tower yet to be con­structed

When Colin Chin walks through the park­ing area at the Mar­i­nus at Plaza 88 con­do­minium project, he sees a lot that’s 90 per cent empty. And that tells the Mar­i­nus sales man­ager some­thing: that the New West­min­ster project has achieved its orig­i­nal de­sign vi­sion and be­come a model of sus­tain­able liv­ing.

In other cities, and in other res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments, that park­ing lot might be full, says Chin. “ But I know many of th­ese own­ers don’t drive, or at least don’t drive to work.”

Mike Degelder of the Degelder Group first en­vi­sioned Plaza 88 some 20 years ago as a project that would in­cor­po­rate sus­tain­able liv­ing and be unique in North Amer­ica.

Char­ter Pa­cific De­vel­op­ments joined Degelder in 2005, and in 2006, the part­ners ac­quired the first of many build­ing per­mits.

“ We’re try­ing to al­le­vi­ate trans­porta­tion [ and] go green in the grand scheme of things,” says Chin. “ It’s sus­tain­able, and it’s the con­cept for the fu­ture.”

Two of Plaza 88’ s four tow­ers are now oc­cu­pied: Azure I and Azure II, both mixed-use 32-storey tow­ers. Mar­i­nus, with 256 res­i­dences spread over 26 of its 36 storeys, rep­re­sents the third phase of the project. Once the fi­nal tower is erected, the de­vel­op­ment will be a vil­lage unto it­self, with some 900 res­i­den­tial units and about 180,000 square feet of re­tail and com­mer­cial space. But Mar­i­nus also rep­re­sents some­thing else: it is the tallest res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial build­ing in Greater Van­cou­ver out­side of down­town Van­cou­ver.

A res­i­dent of a Mar­i­nus con­do­minium can walk down­stairs to the New West­min­ster Sky­Train sta­tion, and then head to work down­town. Af­ter re­turn­ing home from a busy work­day, that res­i­dent will be able to pur­chase din­ner-mak­ings at a nearby gro­cery, then head to a movie or a gym. All of this — ac­cess to shops, tran­sit, and fit­ness and en­ter­tain­ment fa­cil­i­ties — is but an el­e­va­tor ride away.

When constructi­on is com­plete, Mar­i­nus will in­cor­po­rate the Sky­Train sta­tion; a pro­tec­tive sound bar­rier will shield res­i­dents from the noise of the trains. Com­mer­cial space will in­clude a Shop­pers Drug Mart, a gro­cery store and a 10-the­atre cin­ema com­plex.

“ There is no ex­cuse not to come home with milk any more be­cause it’s right across the Sky­Train track,” Chin says. “[ This kind of de­vel­op­ment] al­lows peo­ple more flex­i­bil­ity.”

The most af­ford­able two-bed­room unit mea­sures 880 square feet, has views of the Fraser, and is priced at $ 382,900. The low­est-priced one-bed­room unit is priced at $ 335,900. In many suites, the views of the river and the New West­min­ster Quay’s com­mer­cial hub are all-en­com­pass­ing, and the lay­out of each suite is de­signed to take ad­van­tage of the vis­tas. In any of the view suites, an open­plan kitchen looks out to the din­ing area, which in turn opens up to a bright, car­peted liv­ing room with a fire­place, over­sized win­dow and bal­cony. ( Buy­ers can up­grade to en­gi­neered hard­wood through­out the suites).

Lux­ury fea­tures in­clude a gran­ite slab coun­ter­tops in the kitchen and bath­room, mo­saic tile back­splash, stain­lesssteel ap­pli­ances and wood-grain cab­i­nets in the kitchen. There is im­ported porce­lain tile floor­ing in the en­try­way and kitchen, and there are dou­ble sinks and soaker tubs in the wash­room. All units are wired for In­ter­net in their liv­ing rooms, den and bed­rooms.

As well, those buy­ers who ac­cept an an unas­signed park­ing space — as op­posed to a re­served spot — will see the price of their units re­duced by $ 10,000.

Plaza 88 has been a long gig for real­tor Chin. While watch­ing the project grow and su­per­vis­ing the sales of his suites, he’s seen his kids grow up. He and his fam­ily have bought new homes in the de­vel­op­ment, and he’s been schooled in the pol­i­tics of ne­go­ti­a­tions with six land own­ers and the city of New West­min­ster through var­i­ous in­car­na­tions of its city coun­cil. While Shop­pers is al­ready on board as a ten­ant, Chin says he’s con­fi­dent that the de­vel­op­ment’s size and prox­im­ity to tran­sit will make it a mag­net for more re­tail­ers and res­i­dents.

“ The big defin­ing dif­fer­ence of any condo is what’s out­side the win­dow and what’s di­rectly out­side — or in this case, right down­stairs.” Colin Chin, the man at the model and an or­ga­nizer of the Plaza 88 sales and mar­ket­ing cam­paign, has an un­der­stand­ing of the lo­ca­tion im­per­a­tive in the sale and pur­chase of real es­tate that re­flects his years of multi-res­i­dence sales. ‘ The big defin­ing dif­fer­ence of any condo is what’s out­side the win­dow and what’s di­rectly out­side — or in this case, right down­stairs,’ he says. The Fraser River, shop­ping and en­ter­tain­ing at­trac­tions, and a Sky­Train stop are on the build­ing’s doorstep.

In a home in the sky, and the Mar­i­nus pent­house in New West­min­ster is def­i­nitely that, a quiet soak or a quick shower can be a light-filled ex­pe­ri­enced. So could a night’s sleep, for those who pre­fer their win­dow cov­er­ings open.


Mar­i­nus con­do­mini­ums in New West­min­ster, in ad­di­tion to giv­ing ten­ants easy ac­cess to pub­lic tran­sit, shop­ping and en­ter­tain­ment, fea­ture deck ar­eas that pro­vide a breath­tak­ing view of the Fraser River be­low.


The Plaza 88 part­ners now are sell­ing homes in the third Plaza 88 tower, the 36-storey Mar­i­nus. Their first cus­tomers, or their ten­ants, have now moved in to Azure I and Azure II. Once the fourth tower is erected, Plaza 88 will be a new-home com­mu­nity...

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