April 22, 2013

A project with plenty of extras

Homes in Richmond’s Harmony to have ‘plug-and-play’ work stations — and much more


Project size: 119 homes
Address: 8288 Granville Ave., Richmond
Residence size: 1 bedroom + workstation, 1 bedroom + den, 2 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms + den; 525 — 947 sq. ft.
Prices: From $288,800
Developers: Townline & Peterson Group
Architect: Rafii Architects Inc.
Interior Design: I3 Design
Sales Centre: 7180 No. 3 Rd., Richmond (No. 3 Road and Bennett Road)
Hours: Noon – 6 p.m., Sat. – Thurs.
Telephone: 604-278-3939
Web: www.harmonyrichmond.com
Warranty: Travellers 2-5-10
Occupancy: September 2015

Special to The Sun

At Harmony, a 16-storey residential tower set to rise at Granville Avenue and No. 3 Road in Richmond, little things make a big difference. “There’s a lot of master-planned projects out there,” says Chris Colbeck, Townline’s vice-president of sales and marketing. “It’s given us the opportunity to be a lot more detail oriented on some thoughtful items. Value can be perceived on numerous levels: price, quality, functionality, design and layout and livability. It’s not rocket science.

If buyers feel they’re getting good value for their dollar, they will buy. And if they don’t, they don’t buy. That’s really what we’ve tried to do here.” For example, says Colbeck: “We don’t have any one bedrooms that are just one bedrooms.” “They’re all one bedrooms plus a workstation, so it gives somebody a little home office area that’s not necessarily a den.” Not simply an alcove to be finished by the homeowner, they are plug and play — wired for telephone, data and cable and furnished with a desktop made of the same inch-and-a-quarter-thick solid slab quartz as the kitchen counters.

The U-shaped kitchens in the homes — an undertaking from Townline and Peterson Group — have those counters on all three sides, along with plentiful storage above and below including pot drawers, two-corner cabinets, a pantry cupboard and open shelving. Bathroom counters are three-quarter-inch-thick quartz, but perhaps the most luxurious feature is the oversized soaker tubs: six inches longer than the standard five feet. Most bathrooms include a convenient toiletries ledge built into the tiled tub surround.

Ceilings are smooth, not textured. “It’s an additional cost, but it differentiates our product versus somebody else,” Colbeck. On the other hand, he says, installing moulding around closet doors is inexpensive to do but high impact. Another signature detail is the stone threshold at the entry door of each home. In homes with separate dens, extra storage has been carved out of dead space to create a closet. “You can’t call it a bedroom, because for a bedroom to be a bedroom it has to have a closet and a window,” Colbeck says. “But you could put a little hideabed in there or make it an office — you have somewhere to actually put stuff.”

Making the most of existing space also extends to the exterior. Homes opening on to the third-floor garden have spacious patios; the largest is more than 1,200 square feet. “Why not provide them with that if it’s there?” notes Colbeck.

The garden itself, on the roof of the parking garage (with outlets for electric vehicles), is 15,000 square feet and includes a fenced off-leash dog run. “Everyone has pets nowadays,” Colbeck notes. “We have loads of parks around here, but it’s kind of hard sometimes to get out so here you can just come down out the back.” There is also a 100-metre meandering path for walking or stretching, a play area for the kids, a barbecue area and a Zen meditation area. Indoor amenities will include a concierge in the lobby, a lounge with a pool table, kitchenette and fireplace, an exercise room with yoga area, storage lockers and bike storage.

The building, designed by Rafii Architects in consultation with feng shui master Sherman Tai, is not square to the site but rotated eight degrees with a water feature in front. Punched metalwork at the entrance and up the sides of the building were inspired by the feng shui mystic knot symbol and the art of Chinese papercutting. The pinwheel shape of the building creates more corner windows to maximize light, ventilation and views.

Because of the location, views to the south are unimpeded as buildings are low rise only. Just to the north are city hall, the library, the shops and amenities of Richmond Centre and Minoru Park. General Currie elementary and Richmond secondary are within a couple of blocks, with additional schools nearby. “You’ve got all the conveniences of being in the heart of it all without actually being in the middle of the craziness,” Colbeck says. “You’re on the edge of the heart of everything. Best of all we’re not underneath the direct flight path” of planes landing at YVR. “So we kind of cater to the best of all worlds, which is this whole balance of lifestyle, living harmoniously.”

Sales launch at Harmony on April 27.

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