Volume 24 - Winter 2016

From Concept to Keys: Crafting a Community to Call Home

You’ve narrowed down the neighbourhood. You know how to access bike and transit routes, timed your walk to the nearest grocery At Townline, we’re continually on the search for properties we can transform into vibrant, dynamic communities. It’s our passion, pure and simple. And some of the most exciting opportunities we discover are locations that focus on Metro Vancouver’s growing enthusiasm for urban, transit-oriented communities — neighbourhoods that thrive on diversity, connectivity and convenience.

If you’ve ever wondered what goes into creating this modern lifestyle, it’s more complex and time consuming than you might think.

Get in the Zone

Most often, a developer’s first step is to rezone the property they’ve purchased — a process that typically takes between 12 and 18 months, but in some cases has been known to drag on for five years or even longer.

The City of Vancouver is on the leading edge of a trend that considers maximum allowable numbers of parking stalls per suite in high-rise towers rather than minimums. In fact, throughout many parts of Metro Vancouver the average number of parking stalls per suite is now 1.1 — down from 1.6 only a few years ago. At our award-winning 999 Seymour, our ratio was 0.67 — less than half the new average.

“In simplistic terms, rezoning is what allows exciting new homes to be built on a specific parcel of land,” explains Richard Bernstein, Principal at Chris Dikeakos Architects Inc. And it’s far from being a quick review followed by rubber stamping a form. It’s a collaborative negotiation that involves architects, city planners, transit consultants, and in some cases, heritage specialists. Most municipalities also have an urban design panel made up of industry experts who weigh in on issues like design, form, massing, and sometimes even the public art thatbecomes part of the community.

The results are lively, engaging spaces that appeal to an increasingly diverse demographic who want to have everything they need right outside their front door.

“Transit-oriented communities layer different uses,” Richard explains. “Usually there’s street-level commercial — retail, restaurants and other services — with offices above and residential above that. It’s all about creating an environment where everything you need to live, work, and play is in the same place.”

Get Mobile

By definition, transit-oriented communities are leaders in celebrating a less car-dependent lifestyle. Innovations like the electric car charging stations seen both at Harmony in Richmond and 999 Seymour in downtown Vancouver are now popular components in the fabric of sophisticated, urban living. As a bonus, we also offered a two-zone transit pass that’s good for a full year to all our tenants at Camellia at The Gardens.

Every Townline condominium property also includes plenty of secure bike storage for your prized two-wheelers and some, like 999 Seymour, are literally within steps of a MOBI bikeshare station. At 999 Seymour, we also provided a one-year car share membership and a gift certificate to purchase a new bicycle from a nearby bike shop to anyone who purchased a suite without parking.

Then there’s the “two-feet” option for getting around… which is why we love urban locations with impressive WalkScores. Sometimes, we even create them. For instance, The Gardens in South Richmond is a master-planned urban village that includes a Loblaw’s City Market, a nail salon and a soonto- arrive Anytime Fitness right on site. Of course, this is all in addition to the diverse amenities and services just across the street at the Ironwood and Coppersmith Malls.

Townline’s 999 Seymour residential tower has a perfect WalkScore of 100.

And let’s not forget the alternative to the private vehicle that’s the true cornerstone of all transit-oriented developments — public transportation. After all, whether you’re a daily commuter or an occasional visitor, getting to neighbouring towns should be easy too — just ask the people who live at Harmony or 999 Seymour how convenient it is being 10 minutes or less from a SkyTrain Station and two minutes or less from multiple regular bus stops. Now under construction in the highly connected Port Moody community, The Strand is located two blocks from the West Coast Express and new Evergreen Line.

Looking ahead, we’re also excited about three upcoming Townline communities that will continue this trend of forwardthinking, urban design.

Studies show that properties located within an 800-metre radius of rapid transit typically appreciate in value faster than ones located farther away.

Sussex at Metrotown and an exciting new tower coming to the Burquitlam neighbourhood adjacent to the new Evergreen Line will both make connecting to downtown Vancouver and points beyond effortless, reliable, and fast. On West 41st Avenue near Oakridge Centre, The Parker is poised to take advantage of the existing Canada Line as well as bike routes and multiple car share programs.

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