April 18, 2012
Everything You Need Will Be Minutes Away
MY MARY FRANCIS HILL
Grant Murray has one line that he believes sums up the appeal of The Met, Concord Pacific’s condominium tower planned for Burnaby’s Metrotown neighbourhood. “I want an amenity, but I don’t want it in my face,” says Concord Pacific’s vice-president of sales. When he refers to “amenity,” Murray is speaking of the many conveniences that will be available to residents of The Met: they’ll be close to a SkyTrain station, Metrotown’s busy shopping area, and the popular Bonsor Park and recreation centre.
They will all be close by, but not so close as to be intrusive, notes Murray, who has more than a passing acquaintance with the neighbourhood. From 1989 to 1996, he and his family lived in a condo in a building facing Bonsor Park. On one side of the park stands his former home, and on the opposite side is the site of The Met, a pre-sale project that will stand between Bonsor Park and recreation centre, and another green space, Lobley Park.
Murray, a competitive squash player, practised in Bonsor complex’s facilities. On rainy mornings when he had to walk to the SkyTrain, he rarely brought his umbrella. Instead, he walked through the Metrotown mall, and within minutes was on his way to work. So when Murray speaks to curious condo-hunters at The Met’s presentation centre, he’s inspired by his own his experience. Models of the Metrotown community show The Met’s proximity to the parks, mall and SkyTrain. “We’ve had people say to us, ‘I don’t want to hear the SkyTrain from my apartment,” says Murray of reactions from visitors. He says his response assures them.
“But they won’t. The route is close enough to see the SkyTrain, but far away enough that you can’t hear it.” With the city of Burnaby’s plans to urbanize its transit hubs, Burnaby is indeed hot property right now, with many respected developers breaking ground surrounding the Metrotown SkyTrain station. But finding land to develop within five minutes of public transit and surrounded by green space has been a coup for Concord Pacific, agree Murray and Concord Pacific corporate relations director Peter Udzenija.
“We’ve always been looking for land all over the place, but I don’t see this [locating homes around both green space and transit] ever happening in Burnaby again,” says Udzenija. The Met’s amenities were built with the building’s location in mind, Murray says. “We’ve complemented the amenities with everything that the homeowner can get at Bonsor recreational complex.”
Residents will be able to keep fit in the tower’s extensive common amenity space on the ground floor, which will be equipped with a karaoke and media lounge, an indoor golf simulator and outdoor putting green, a fitness centre, fire pit and barbecue function area.
With new density, the city of Burnaby will “traffic-calm” Nelson Avenue — the street that separates The Met from Bonsor park — to a safe 30-kilometre zone. While transit is close and every suite comes with at least one parking stall, homeowners also get another unusual perk: two fully electric vehicles will be available as part of a car-share program exclusive to building owners.
The presentation centre includes a well-staged version of The Met’s three-bedroom offering, including a full foyer, with a closet installed with an organizer and a guest bathroom. Real hardwood floors and cabinets are throughout the open-concept dining and living spaces, while master bedrooms include walk-in closets with organizers installed. The kitchen, equipped with either an island or an L-shaped working space, comes standard with composite stone countertops and a backsplash made of a marble slab. All appliances are made by Miele.
Udzenija notes that for a significant drop in price, buyers can choose to purchase AEG appliances and marble tile over the higher-end Miele and marble slab that come standard in every suite.
Like Murray, Udzenija has noticed visitors looking at a model of The Met and its proximity to the SkyTrain and assume it may be too close — or too loud — for comfort. Their fears are quickly eased, says Udzenija.
“I like to use the words ‘comfortably close,’” he says. “It’s livable. We’re a block and a half clear of Kingsway and the SkyTrain station, and kitty corner to one edge of the mall. “It’s all there, but you feel comfortably separated.”
Project location: 6560 Nelson Ave., Burnaby
Project size: 35 storeys of one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, including 11 townhomes
Residence sizes: 511 to 1,578 sq. ft
Prices: From $279,900 to $940,000
Developer: Concord Pacific
Architect: Buttjes Architecture, Inc.
Interior Designer: Portico Interior Design
Sales Centre: 88 Pacific Blvd., Vancouver, Concord Pacific Lands/Northeast False Creek
Hours: Sat — Thurs, noon — 5 p.m.
Occupancy: Spring 2015
Special to The Sun