First Look: Modern Condos at 204th Street & 73A Avenue


On December 4th I visited a sparsely attended developer open house (only 4 people signed in... including myself). Of course, December is usually a pretty busy time for people and this application currently doesn't have a whole lot of neighbours yet to mail notices out to yet. I live 6 blocks away and I certainly didn't receive a notice - I had to find the buried advertised in the paper edition of the Langley Advance Times.


The application by Flat Architecture, the agent for a numbered company - 1180863 BC Ltd. - passed third reading on the July 27, 2020, Township of Langley Council meeting with only Councillor Richter opposed.


The yet to be named development will include 72 apartment condos and 16 townhomes on a site that is currently two parcels that are both intended for townhomes with a 12-40 units per acre.

Location




Central Gordon is a Willoughby neighbourhood community plan tht has just started to develop recently. The site directly to the west of this application is currently undergoing development with 102 townhomes and 75 apartment condo units. To the north is the Latimer plan with an undeveloped low density (6-8 UPA) suburban home site and the east is yet another neighbourhood plan - Smith. That site is actually where the new Smith View Park will be, which will be a very cool feature for residents of this community. To the south of the proposed site is another apartment site with a current application for a 132 unit building by the same developer as this project.


Artist Sketch of Smith View Park Reservoir

Artist sketch of the Smith View Park Reservoir with the most relaxed Canada Goose ever

Builder

Speaking of which, I don't actually know who the builder is. The numbered company,1180863 BC Ltd., is a home based address in Yorkson, so we know they are local. They use different numbered companies for different projects. I'm sure we will see their advertising up soon. They have retained Surrey-based FLAT Architecture for their developments, whose work you will have seen throughout Willoughby.

The Homes

This new apartment condo building features contemporary features that are now fairly commonplace throughout Willoughby and the Fraser Valley, including angled roofing and a multi-textured exterior that uses a bold red fibre cement panel for the primary entrance along with other more natural coloured fibre cement panelling accentuated by a light ash coloured mora brick and coffee coloured fascia board trims. The coordinated townhomes are arguably a bit more bland as they lose the bold red flavour that will make the apartment building stand out. Personally, I would love to see a punch of the same red on the townhomes - maybe on the individual doors?


Exterior of Apartment building from West


Exterior of Townhomes, Northeast


Exterior of Townhomes from 204th Street


The apartments will be housed in a 4 storey building with 1 floor of underground parking, whereas the townhomes will be 3 stories with 100% side-by-side garages, which makes the current Township council super happy after instigating restrictions on the more economical tandem parking.The 16 townhomes will offer 5 different floorplans, all featuring 3 bedrooms and ranging from 1,445 sq.ft. to 1,759 sq,ft.



The variety of the 72 apartments, on the other hand, is where this building really sets itself apart from a lot of it's nearby Willoughby neighbours. There will be a dozen options, with 2 bedrooms + dens to 4 bedrooms. What's really unique about this is not only that the building doesn't offer 1 bedrooms, but that there are a lot of larger units. While 34x units will be the highly sought after 2 bedrooms plus dens, there will also be 29x 3 bedrooms, plus 1x more 3 bedroom plus den and an additional 6x 4 bedrooms! The square footage of these units will likely average to be among the largest in Willoughby. While there will be a dozen of the smallest 988 sq.ft. homes, the rest range from 1,011 sq.ft. to 1,439 sq.ft.!




The townhomes are situated on the North side of the property, with 8 of the units facing onto 73A Avenue. A good selection of the apartments on the East side of the property will have a view of the Smith View Park reservoir mentioned above, overlooking 204th Street. The western half of the site includes multiple amenties, including an "adult amenities" section, a kids playground and an 1,100 sq.ft. indoor amenities building.

Brad's Notes

As I've vocalized before, the Central Gordon Estate Plan is very confusing for the general public, with this being a primary example. 40 UPA is not condusive to townhome design (townhomes are usually 12-18 UPA), whereas apartments in the areaa are generally 50-80 UPA. I have argued with staff before that this plan is misleading as almost all of the designated "Townhouse A" and "Townhouse B" will actually be apartments - and here we go.


I'm not saying I'm necessarily opposed to it - the mid range UPA will lead to bigger, family-friendly apartment units, which is very much needed. I'm actually a huge fan of larger apartment units that families can live in, providing an alternative to the standard 3 storey townhome so prevelent in Willoughby and Clayton.


The problem is that the general public just doesn't know that is what is happening. Unless you have a highly critical eye, almsot anyone looking at the Central Gordon Estate plan would assume that this would all be townhomes. Why wouldn't they? It says it right there!


The second problem is that the Langley School Board treats all apartments equally, whether its a collection of 500 sq.ft. 1 bedrooms or a development of 1300 sq.ft. 3 bedrooms. They still assume kids don't live in apartments, projecting that out of these 88 combined units (without a single 1 bedroom unit), there will only be 6 elementary students, 3 middle school students and 5 high school students. It is my opinion that this will eventually lead to the imminent third round of Willoughby's school capacity crisis, so this is just something to be aware of for parents looking to move into the area.

Status

The development received 3rd Reading on July 27, 2020 and will move towards Final Reading once the builder has satisfied 15 standard conditions. If you are interested in owning a home at this new development, or any others, please let me know and I'll keep my eyes open for pre-sale registration when the developer starts marketing the units.


Disclosure: Brad Richert Personal Real Estate Corporation and Sotheby's International Realty Canada is not a representative of the developer. All information contained within should be considered accurate, but is not guaranteed. This article is to be used for informational purposes alone and should not be considered an offer for purchase or sale.

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