September 4, 2012

Whistler finishes with Pemberton price tag

Four-storey condo development offers down-to-earth living 20 minutes north of Whistler

Elements

Project size/scope: Four-storey condominium with 41 residential units and six commercial units
Prices: Condominiums start at $169,900 and penthouses (all with expansive rooftop decks ranging from 1,000 — 1,600 sq. ft) start from under $400,000.
Builder/Developer: Marcon Developments Ltd.
Interior Design: Gannon Ross Designs
Location: 7445 Frontier St., Pemberton (The village of Pemberton is a 20-minute drive north of Whistler and a 2.5-hour drive from Vancouver.)
Sales Contact: Whistler Real Estate Company Ltd., www.wrec.com. Contact Danielle Menzel or Amber Mann at 604-894-7777.
Website: www.liveintheelements.com

BY SUSAN DOWN

The village of Pemberton is a fast-growing community with a down-to-earth personality that contrasts with its well-known and glamorous Whistler neighbour, and one that offers some good real estate opportunities for the buyer looking for a comfortable and convenient home. One such development, Elements, offers luxurious finishes with a small-town price tag, says Roxanne Reid, director of sales and marketing for Marcon. “It has seen a lot of changes in a short period of time,” Reid says. “It is still quaint, but with access to all amenities.”

There are two distinguishing features that set Elements apart, she says. This building offers single-level living and access to each floor by elevator, unlike many other “walk-up” condo projects in the community. Each of the top five penthouse suites has a huge rooftop deck with enough room for sprawling furniture groupings and even a hot tub.

The other important aspect of Elements is the location, as the realtors note. Situated in the centre of town, the building will take advantage of the revitalization plans ongoing around it. Owners can park their cars and walk everywhere from the adjacent farmers’ market to stores and cafes. With few new developments coming on stream in the area in recent years, Elements will likely be an attractive option in a community that has seen double-digit population growth.

The exterior has a West Coast design, with attractive window treatments and natural finishes that make it seem at home in the valley, rather than representing a designer vision plunked down from a Yaletown drafting board. Most urban planning experts say a mix of business and residential is ideal for making a setting more vibrant. Elements has six retail spaces. Who will be occupying them hasn’t been revealed, but Reid promises that buyers will be happy with the choices.

On the interior, the condos are cool and sophisticated. The Vancouver interior designer firm of Gannon Ross has streamlined the look of the interiors to appeal to those who want an easy-care modern home. Instead of the knotty pine frontier look so common in some recreational condos, these units are contemporary. In other words, they are easy to live in full time. They feature a palette option: either graphite grey or light oak, with white ceramic accents and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. Other top-grade appliances include front-loading washers.

The floor plans are varied and optimized to meet varying budgets and maximize the views of nearby Mount Currie. Options range from a junior one-bedroom layout of 549 square feet to a three-bedroom, three-bathroom spread of close to 1,500 square feet. One of the first changes some condo-owners make is to close in an unused balcony to create more interior space. At Elements, some units have balconies, while others provide a sunroom instead.

The project is continuing its grand opening special — offering to take $4,000 to $15,000 off for those who buy this summer — and the purchase price also includes the net HST. As well, because it’s move-in ready, there is the ability for first-time homebuyers to apply for the provincial government’s $10,000 rebate. Elements has undergone a transformation since the first shovelful of earth was turned. The project, formerly known as Terrastone Crossing, was originally intended as a rental development when construction began four years ago.

However, the work stalled when the developer ran into financial problems, and the building sat unfinished for more than a year. Marcon took over the project, and reconstructed many of the elements that were already completed: it added a new roof, window detailing, waterproofing and plumbing and mechanical systems. Marcon also met a higher standard than was expected for the rental building in order to achieve the Travelers Canada home warranty.

Finally, the surrounding Pemberton Valley is a draw for many homebuyers as a principal residence or second home, with its two golf courses (Big Sky and The Meadows), excellent fly-fishing lakes and nearby rivers, mountain-biking trails, and of course, hiking and skiing. Those who appreciate the “slow food” concept and want access to the freshest local produce are also likely to find the region ideal. Pemberton even has its own distillery, all the better to toast your new home.

Special to The Sun

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