September 13, 2016
Aiming for amazing at Port Royal
BY CLAUDIA KWAN
When it came time for Aragon to decide how to proceed with The Peninsula in New Westminster’s Port Royal neighbourhood, the developer knew the bar would have to be set high.
“This location is unique, certainly in the Lower Mainland, and possibly even in the world – it’s surrounded by fresh water on all sides, with very special views,” explains sales director Lisa McDonald. “We knew the building had to match that level of amazing.” The informal concept, she jokes, was “Coal Harbour at a fraction of the cost.”
Coal Harbour at a fraction of the cost
Aragon sales representative Kathleen Duggan proudly shows off the counter-depth Gaggenau freezer and refrigerator columns sheathed in millwork panels, pressing a button to mechanically raise and lower shelves within the stainless steel interiors. She pulls open the Cellini cabinetry to reveal metal and glass drawers, and stainless steel inserts for cutlery and spice jars. Some homes will also have full-height pantries.
The kitchen has been designed to be a cook’s delight, with a five-burner natural gas cooktop and a 30-inch programmable wall oven; the door to the oven opens to one side – rather than the more traditional top to bottom – for greater comfort.
Then there’s the quartz countertop, cascading waterfall style down the sides of the kitchen island in some homes. An aluminum kick under the millwork is a thoughtful low-maintenance touch, and adds a touch of sleek sophistication.
“We’re seeing a lot of downsizers, and they’re really conscious of good design and how spaces function,” McDonald says. “We wanted to give them that combination of practicality and stylishness to make the transition from a single-family home that much easier. It’s like everyone is getting a penthouse.”
In the living room, a linear fireplace is set into the wall for ambiance, rather than heat. A large millwork art piece comprising panels of smoked eucalyptus serves as a focal point for the room; Aragon likes to create feature walls in the central living spaces of its homes that introduce both colour and texture. Past offerings in other developments have included walls made of reclaimed brick.
Brick has also been employed on the facing of the building, to reference the historical aspects of the Port Royal neighbourhood. The former industrial area has been transformed over the years into a thriving community that is pedestrian-friendly, home to all demographic groups and close to major amenities such as shopping, restaurants and professional services.
The Peninsula is intended to be the crown jewel of Aragon’s projects in the area, as it gets closer to building out its holdings in the region. (The company will only embark on one more low-rise project in Port Royal after this.)
The building’s architecture is shaped by the idea of water, with an undulating glass surface on the side facing the Fraser River. A paved path allows pedestrians to navigate around the site, á là the Stanley Park Seawall in downtown Vancouver; extensive landscaping creates a privacy perimeter for people living at Peninsula.
Residents will have access to a private freshwater marina, allowing them to moor their boats just steps from their front doors. When it is in complete, the 22-storey tower will be one of the highest in the surrounding region, allowing commanding views of water, mountain and cityscapes. Others who prefer to live closer to the ground can choose homes in a three-storey-high portion of the project, with access to sizeable rooftop decks.
Amenities include a kitchen available for large-scale dinner parties or cooking classes, a movie room, a guest suite, a gym and spa, and a social lounge with a generous outdoor space, designed to feel like a private club.
“We’re seing upscale homeowners from the North Shore, the westside of Vancouver, and those who already have connections to Port Royal expressing interest in these suites,” s ays McDonald. “They want a luxurious resort lifestyle – and we think Peninsula is the perfect option for them.”
The show suite is located at 260, Ewen St.,
New Westminster, aragon.ca/thepeninsula.