Big changes are coming to the Austin Heights neighbourhood of Coquitlam. In recent weeks, one of Western Canada’s oldest Safeway stores was reopened on Austin Avenue after a rebuild by Beedie Living. On either side of the new 65,000-square-foot grocery store, the same developer has just broken ground on the first of two 25-storey residential towers that will be part of a major revitalization of the area.
The new development is appropriately named The Heights on Austin. But buyers of the homes won’t necessarily have to choose a plan at the top of one of these buildings to enjoy spectacular views, according to Beedie’s director of marketing and strategy, Sunny Hahm.
“Our views are one of our biggest selling points and they compare favourably to any development that’s been launched recently in Burnaby or Coquitlam,” Hahm said. “Even when you’re only on the third level, you’ll already have incredible southward views of Surrey, the Port Mann Bridge and the Fraser River. Every home on every residential level in this building has a view to immerse yourself in, which is very unusual. Typically, you’d have to purchase something on the tenth floor or above to get any type of view.”
The east tower will be completed first and have 177 homes (out of a total of 344 for the whole project), including five three-bedroom townhomes. This first phase will also include 12 affordable housing units to be developed in partnership with B.C. Housing and the not-for-profit Vancouver Resource Society. The west tower – the second phase of Austin Heights – will include additional retail space and commercial office space.
“The accessibility that the Austin Heights area provides to the rest of Metro Vancouver is a one of the key reasons why real estate in this neighbourhood holds its value so well,” Hahm added. “You’re still very much part of a residential community, but you’re also only a five-minute drive away from any one of three SkyTrain stations. There’s Burquitlam, Lougheed Town Centre and Braid stations, serving three different SkyTrain lines that connect you to all of Metro Vancouver. You’re away from the craziness and the hustle and bustle, but still well connected to transit options if you’re a commuter. In terms of driving, you can get to anywhere in Metro Vancouver within about half an hour.”
That’s assuming you need to leave the neighbourhood in the first place, of course. The brochure for The Heights on Austin lists no fewer than 60 educational institutions, restaurants, shopping outlets and activities in the neighbourhood. In addition, there are 750 acres of green space within four kilometres of the site, including the prestigious Vancouver Golf Club.
“Just behind our site, Ridgeway Avenue has been designated by the City of Coquitlam to be a new pedestrian area with an incredible new streetscape,” Hahm said. “It will be a beautiful promenade with cafes, restaurants and public art installations – a fully walkable neighbourhood right on your doorstep. Austin Heights is not just another highrise development. We’re building a new town centre for the City of Coquitlam and the local business community.”
“When it comes to the issue of affordability, we’re seeing purchasers shift from west to east and there’s a level of expectation that comes with that,” Hahm added. “Somebody who’s been living for a number of years in somewhere like Yaletown or Coal Harbour will have certain expectations when it comes to the appliances in their homes and the quality of living they’re looking for.”
Beedie is aiming to exceed those expectations at The Heights on Austin. As a result, kitchens will feature premium Fisher & Paykel integrated appliance packages, including 32-inch fridges with bottom freezers, 30-inch stainless steel gas cooktops and 30-inch electric convection ovens. There are white upper Shaker cabinets with wood-grain lower cabinets, soft-close cabinet hardware with polished chrome pulls, LED under-cabinet lighting and quartz countertops and backsplashes.
Bathrooms will have custom mirrors and medicine cabinets, matte porcelain floor tiles, quartz countertops and undermount sinks. There are porcelain beveled subway tiles with niches, as well as polished chrome Grohe shower systems and adjustable shower wands in all ensuites. Main bathrooms feature luxurious soaker tubs.
“We’ve seen mostly end users showing interest in these homes and that’s partly because of the quality of the finishes we’re putting in here and the expansiveness of the floor plans,” Hahm said. “They’re just a little bigger and more livable than what you might typically expect in a development like this. Our primary demographic is an end-use, first-time homebuyer and they’re typically coming from the Tri-Cities or Burnaby.”
There are multiple plans to choose from at The Heights on Austin. East tower homes have one to three bedrooms, range in size from 482 to 1,292 square feet and are priced from $441,900. Completion for the first phase is expected by the spring of 2022 and the presentation centre at 1032 Austin Avenue in Coquitlam is open from noon until 5 p.m. every day but Friday.
The Heights on Austin
Project location: 1045 Austin Avenue (east tower) and 505 Nelson Street (west tower), Coquitlam
Project size: 344 homes with one to three bedrooms. (East tower: 177 homes; West tower: 167 homes) East tower homes range from 482 to 1,292 square feet and priced from $441,900
Developer: Beedie Living
Architect: Chris Dikeakos Architects Inc.
Interior designer: Bob’s Your Uncle Design
Sales centre: 1032 Austin Ave, Coquitlam
Sales centre hours: noon — 5 p.m., Sat — Thurs
Sales phone: 604-492-2882