August 2, 2012
West End Vancouver location sparks condo buying frenzy
Project address: 1221 Bidwell St.
Project size: 21-floor tower, 85 units
Commercial space: 3 spaces from 1,500 sq. ft to 6,000 sq. ft
Residence sizes remaining: 907 sq. ft to 1,527 sq. ft.
Prices: starting at $839,900
Architect: IBI/HB Architects
Landscape: Durante Kreuk Ltd.
Developer: Alexandra English Bay Properties Ltd. and Concord Pacific Investments (Alexandra) Limited Partnership
Interior design: B+H CHILL Design
Sales centre address: 88 Pacific Blvd. (at Carrall, on the False Creek seawall)
Hours: Open daily from 10 a.m. — 5 p.m.
Occupancy: Fall 2013
On sale: Now
Number of units available: Nine remain
BY CHANTAL EUSTANCE
The new 85-unit Alexandra tower at Bidwell and Davie Street in Vancouver’s West End has practically sold itself, says Concord Pacific’s Grant Murray. “We basically sold out in three days,” says Murray, adding there are just nine homes left for sale. “I’m excited and probably a bit overwhelmed that the support was so strong.”
The 21-storey tower includes two levels of retail space, with the remaining apartments ranging from about 907 square feet to 1,527 square feet with prices starting at $839,900. Buyers are drawn to the area, he says, as well as the overall look and finishing of the building. “This is all about the rarity of offering,” says Murray. “And a great location.”
The Alexandra buyer can walk out their front door to the sandy beaches of English Bay or bike along the seawall to play a game of pitch and putt at Stanley Park. “Every day and any time, the luxury of strolling English Bay,” says the Alexandra website, juxtaposed with a photo of the driftwood at the nearby beach. “Bike, walk or rollerblade — front-door access to a 22-kilometre seawall.”
They’ll also be close to the urban hub of Davie Village, just minutes away, or downtown Vancouver’s many shops and amenities, from world-class restaurants to concerts and entertainment. “It’s walkable to Robson Street,” Murray says, smiling as he points to a model of the building inside the Alexandra sales centre on Pacific Boulevard.
“It’s the newest building in the area that has close access to Stanley Park,” adds Concord Pacific’s Peter Udzenija, nodding. “It really is very cool.” The tower is oriented to maximize its Vancouver views, says Udzenija, with some homes facing the ocean and Stanley Park and others featuring mountains and cityscapes.
Designed by IBI/HB Architects, it’s built to a LEED Gold Standard, with eco-friendly touches like a high performance thermal envelope to minimize unwanted solar gains and heat loss, as well as high efficiency landscaping designed by Durante Kreuk Ltd. to reduce storm run-off and reduce water use. In addition to having their own tiled balconies, buyers will also have access to two communal outdoor spaces.
On Level 3, they’ll have access to Club Alexandra with a fitness facility, as well as view gardens and plots for urban agriculture. On Level 6, they’ll have use of a private lounge with a kitchen and dining area, an ocean view terrace and a fireplace. While Alexandra’s overall look is clearly contemporary, mixing plenty of glass with concrete, it incorporates the original building’s 1936 mission-revival, heritage facade at the lobby entrance on Bidwell Street.
It also has a decorative glass panel down the side, with a pressed grass design, an interesting visual feature that adds a bit of colour to the building without obscuring light or views.
Inside their homes, buyers will find plenty of open space with over-height nine-foot ceilings, wide-plank engineered flooring throughout and plenty of creature comforts too. Bathrooms feature dual flush toilets, marble tile flooring, undercounter basin sinks with chrome faucets and enclosed glass showers.
Kitchens are finished with polished quartz slab countertops and backsplashes, and feature stainless appliances, including a Miele gas cooktop, oven, dishwasher and panelled fridge. “I think your kitchen is a main focal point for everyone,” says Murray, pointing out the stainless steel sink with pullout kitchen faucet in the display suite.
“The finishing is fantastic.” Most of the Alexandra buyers are owner-occupiers, says Murray, who are drawn to living in the vibrant urban area. “There are people who’ve been waiting a long time in the area,” says Murray. Like Alexandra buyer and west end resident Robert Simpson. “It’s a beautiful neighbourhood,” he says. “There’s just not much inventory.”
So when he saw the plans for Alexandra six years ago, he says, he put his name on the list. “Six years later, I got the call,” he says. Once he saw the plans for the building, he says, he didn’t hesitate to buy. “I’m very impressed with the design of the building,” Simpson says. His two-bedroom, 17th floor unit will feature views looking towards Stanley Park and Kitsilano. It also includes a 400-square-foot patio.
“You’ll be able to use it year-round,” he says. “And make an outdoor living space.” Occupancy is expected for next fall. “Once a week I walk by and look at the progress,” Simpson says. “It’s going to be fantastic.”
Special to The Sun