October 2, 2012

At home on the mountaintop

The UniverCity community is not just for those affiliated with the university – 60 per cent of of the residents are attracted by its many other features.

Imagine living in a modern, urban neighbourhood nestled within a wild, protected forest on a scenic mountaintop. Located on top of Burnaby Mountain, UniverCity is a complete community that is rapidly on its way to becoming one of the most sustainable in North America. Currently home to more than 3,500 residents, UniverCity has also grown to include two childcare centres, an elementary school, and a bustling high street, all surrounded by a conservation area that is ideal for running, hiking and cycling.

While 40 per cent of the community’s residents are affiliated with the university, 60 per cent live at UniverCity for all the other factors that make it unique and forward-looking – a sustainable mountaintop utopia ready to face the challenges of the 21st century. The UniverCity Childcare project is one of the first in Canada to meet the Living Building Challenge. Built entirely with non-toxic materials, the building produces as much energy as it uses.

In keeping with a City of Burnaby green building bylaw, the first of its kind in North America, all new buildings at UniverCity are required to be 30 per cent more energy efficient and 40 per cent more water efficient than the national standard. Many of the Lower Mainland’s top homebuilders have recognized this remarkable opportunity to offer their customers a better lifestyle and UniverCity is now expected to grow to 10,000 residents as additional new housing is built.

On the peak of Burnaby Mountain, Altitude by the Hungerford Group features Burnaby’s most affordable tower homes and is busy with prospective purchasers. Altitude’s two towers will offer more than 200 homes with quality interior finishes and amenities uncommon at this price point. Completion is expected in 2014.

Porte is constructing two developments, Lift and Origin. Origin offers 75 well-considered flats and lofts with remarkable city and mountain views. Only six opportunities remain to own a home at Origin, which will be move-in ready this December. Lift, just down the road from Origin, offers 52 contemporary one- and one + den flats and two- and three-bedroom garden homes and sky homes. Liberty Homes’ Highland House offers 104 contemporary highrise apartments located steps away from UniverCity’s High Street. With just 20 homes remaining, construction of the 12-storey terraced mid-rise is well underway with completion in spring 2013.

With the Burnaby Mountain community still growing, these new developments represent investment opportunities of a lifetime. For anyone thinking of investing in real estate, having a property on a university campus is a smart move. And rental rates in the area are comparable to Vancouver and Metrotown, yet with a significantly lower real estate investment base resulting in better than average returns.

All the new developments are near Simon Fraser University. Residents of UniverCity receive access to the university’s facilities, including the Olympic-size swimming pool and a magnificent 12,000-square-foot fitness facility, as well as to life-long learning opportunities at one of Canada’s best universities. With its extraordinary views, sustainability philosophy, and access to nature and SFU, UniverCity is not just a great place to live, it’s also a vision for the future. As they say, you get more for your money on the mountain.

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