January 21, 2012

New Vancouver Development Right at Home

Listraor Group designed its Montgomery project to fit in with single-family homes in the area

Davy Yau and his family will be taking up residence in a new town house in the coming months, but in some ways, they’ll be staying right at home.Yau, his wife and two daughters will be relocating from the recently constructed Carrington townhouse project at 45th Avenue and Oak Street to the Montgomery project just two blocks north and on the other side of Oak. They’ll not only be staying in the neighbourhood, they’ll also be sticking with a familiar developer. The Listraor Group built their current home and is in the process of building their next.“The fact that I have lived in one project by Listraor has added to my confidence about my new home,” says Yau, the assistant director of a custom cabinet manufacturer in Burnaby.

Yau, whose new residence will be some 400 square feet bigger than his current home – and with an additional bedroom and den – says the two projects have more in common than just a developer and locations. “[Both are] built to fit the modern lifestyle, have a good use of space, as well, [and] attention to detail,” says Yau, who has lived in his 1,100-square-foot Carrington residence for about two and a half years.

The Carrington and Montgomery town houses are similar in number — 30 and 27, respectively — and both are designed to reflect the architectural look and character of existing detached homes in the Oakridge neighbourhood, notes Listraor president Craig Rowland. The latter, which is named for the nearby Montgomery Park and is rising on the one-time site of the Kabalarian Centre, is clad in stained cedar shingles with heavy timber entrances, sloping roofs and dormers. “All of these elements serve to provide a warm, welcoming, traditional residential feel,” Rowland says, adding that “the interiors, with their large windows and doors leading to patios, are bright and contemporary.”

Yau is fond of the neighbourhood — it’s convenient, safe and friendly, he says — and Rowland says he is certainly not alone. “We are building here because we know people love the neighbourhood,” he says, noting that Listraor has acquired another property in the immediate area — this one, at 46th Avenue and Oak — and will begin construction there in a year. “The location is close to schools, parks, Oakridge, transit, the airport, UBC and downtown … Carrington sold out in the thick of the economic downturn. People understand the value of the neighbourhood….It is the kind of place where you would like to walk your dog and visit with your neighbours.”

Several plans are on offer for the Montgomery homes, which have either one or three bedrooms. At almost 1,600 square feet, the smartly decorated show home on 43rd Avenue is one of the largest units in the complex, containing three good-sized bedrooms and three bathrooms, as well as a second-level den and a lower-level space that might be used for whatever suits the occupants’ needs: Perhaps a games room, a movie room, an exercise room or a play room. Like the majority of homes — the one-bedroom units being the exception — its two underground side-by-side parking stalls will be accessed directly through that lower level.

The Montgomery town houses will have front and back doors and private outdoor spaces with built-in gas barbecue hookups, and the majority will have views of a landscaped inner courtyard. Unlike Carrington down the road, Montgomery also features master suites on the top levels of each home, private sanctuaries of sorts that are fitted with walk-in closets, ensuite bathrooms and roof decks.

Main living areas have nine-foot ceilings, gas fireplaces and hardwood floors, and kitchens are fitted with stone counters, glass tile backsplashes and Fisher Paykel appliance packages. Homes feature one of two colour schemes, hues that are reflected in the cabinetry, the flooring and the countertops. Montgomery sales manager Patricia Lok says that 12 of the 27 homes have now sold, and to a variety of buyers. “We have families, some couples, some downsizers,” Lok says. “We have people from Richmond, as well as people from the area … A lot of people who [have been] looking at single-family homes on the west side are feeling like they’re actually getting more space in a town house like this. Maybe they’ve been looking at a two-bedroom bungalow, or an older home that needs renovations.”

Listraor’s Rowland, who has a background in both architecture and city planning, agrees that Montgomery, and Carrington before it, exemplify the type of multi-family housing being targeted by Vancouver’s ‘densification’ initiatives, while fitting in esthetically with the single-family feel of the larger neighbourhood. In addition, he says, the projects provide “the benefits of ground-oriented single-family living, without the maintenance associated with single-family ownership.”

The draws of Montgomery, of course, certainly aren’t lost on the likes of Davy Yau, whose address will be tweaked ever so slightly in the months ahead. And the fact that he’s a repeat Listraor buyer translates into only good news for the president of the family-owned company. Says Rowland: “It is always pleasing to us when one of our customers buys another of our homes.”

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