As the Lower Mainland’s multi-family-home development market has been evolving of late, so too have buyers’ expectations, says Howard Steiss, director of sales and marketing at Aragon Properties.
“It’s a show-me market now: show me that the building is actually built, show me what the quality is, show me that your offering is real-time and authentic,” Steiss said. “It’s quite a change.”
Steiss described the last number of years as being all about pre-sales, and people buying condos that, in many cases, wouldn’t be built for a few years.
By contrast, Amber – Aragon Properties’ soon-to-be launched multi-family development at Ash Street and King Edward in Vancouver – is scheduled to be completed almost immediately.
“The suites will be ready for occupancy early this fall,” Steiss said. “We’ll put in on the market to the public in early July at the latest and homebuyers will be able to see it, touch it and feel it. There’s a tremendous leap of faith required when you’re having to make possibly the biggest financial decision of your life based on something that doesn’t exist yet.
“Renderings and computer animations can do great things when it comes to how it’s supposed to look. But in this case, people can really experience it before they decide on a particular floor plan or location within the building.”
Amber is a boutique development of just 31 suites, but there’s a wide variety of options to appeal to different buyers. The development has no fewer than 18 different floor plans to choose from and homes with one, two and three bedrooms ranging in size from 695 to 1,794 square feet. These include two-level townhomes that Steiss said would be particularly attractive to growing families or downsizers.
The location is similarly appealing. Amber is within a block of the Canada Line station at Cambie and King Edward, so residents will be able to get downtown, to the airport or out to Richmond in quick time.
“The neighbourhood is well known to be one of the most desirable locations in Vancouver,” Steiss said. “Amber’s proximity to Douglas Park, a neighbourhood park about a block away, offers people a great green space to take the kids or the dog. Heather Park and Queen Elizabeth Park are both also within walking distance. There are all kinds of shops and restaurants and coffee places in the Cambie Village. It’s really a great spot.”
The above-mentioned Cambie Village is the type of neighbourhood that has its own blog, social media channels and website, the latter listing a large list of shops, services, coffee houses, restaurants and entertainment options.
As for the homes at Amber, there’s little doubt that this is a luxury building aimed at discerning buyers.
“We create unique experiences,” Steiss said. “The floor plans, the locations and the interior features are carefully designed and chosen. The typical interiors of an Aragon condo or townhouse would include things like millwork finishing that you would normally see in other projects as upgrades or decorator extras. Our approach is that every home should be equally luxurious as standard. The materials, the design and the craftsmanship put us in a different league to most other developers.”
Kitchens feature Caesarstone quartz countertops and backsplashes, Kohler stainless steel undermount single-basin sinks and pull-out stainless steel kitchen faucets, soft-close cabinets and integrated waste and recycling drawers. The Gaggenau appliance packages include stainless steel fridges and bottom freezers, five-burner gas cooktops with automatic fast ignition, electronic-flame monitoring and auto reignition and wall ovens with touch display, automatic door opening and 17 heating methods. There are fully integrated dishwashers, Panasonic built-in microwaves with European-style trim and AEG hood fans.
Bathrooms have quartz countertops, oversized porcelain polished floor and wall tiles, undermount sinks and dual-flush toilets. They also include wall-mounted chrome sink faucets, rain showerheads in showers and main bathroom tubs and floating vanities with undermount lighting. There are medicine cabinets and NuHeat in-floor heating systems in the ensuites.
“We’re committed to future-proofing our developments, which is why Amber will have electric-vehicle charging in each and every stall in the parkade,” Steiss said. “Electric cars are definitely a growing trend, so the time to install the charging stations is now.”
“It’s a very solid four-storey building with a wood frame, steel and concrete combination for the structure itself and brick cladding on the outside,” Steiss added. “That’s not too typical in Vancouver. With Amber, we’re really targeting the end user, the owner occupier that wants to live in that location and put roots down.”
Steiss encouraged potential buyers to register online. Prices start in the high $700,000 range for one-bedroom homes and the high $900,000 range for two-bedroom homes.
Project location: Ash Street and King Edward Avenue, Vancouver
Project size: 31 suites with one, two and three bedrooms ranging in size from 695 to 1,794 square feet. Prices start in the high $700,000 range for one-bedroom homes and the high $900,000 range for two-bedroom homes.
Developer: Aragon Properties
Architect: Public Architects
Interior designer: In-house
Sales centre: Scheduled to open late June/early July
Sales phone: 604-871-8600