June 20, 2012
Coquitlam Evergreen condos at the right spot
BY MARY FRANCES HILL
When Cheryl Hsu stopped by Evergreen’s presentation centre in Coquitlam last weekend, she visited out of kindness as much as curiosity. She and her mother were helping her mother’s friend, a visitor from Victoria who was on the hunt for a new condominium. At the same time, Hsu and her fiance had been casually looking for a new home, preferably a townhouse. So what was the harm in tagging along?
That visit changed everything. “I went back to my fiance and said, ‘I just bought a place,’ ” laughs Hsu, a Vancouver resident who works in accounting. Hsu, 37, and her mother will share ownership of a two-bedroom suite at Evergreen, Bosa Properties’ 28-storey tower destined for Coquitlam in 2015. Hsu and her fiance will live in the home for a few years before they rent it out and become landlord-investors. By then, finding a renter will be easy, she suggests, since the building will stand between two stations of the planned Evergreen SkyTrain line linking Coquitlam to Vancouver.
Hsu chose a suite facing southeast; her home’s layout will mimic the two-bedroom suite at Evergreen’s presentation centre. The suite shows off details not commonly found in a 840-square-foot suite, such as a formal foyer leading to separate linen and laundry closets. A full bathroom appointed with Armani cabinets and Grohe fixtures stands at the end of the hallway. A tailored kitchen looks out to a living room on one side and a separate dining room on the other. Bedrooms lie at opposite ends of the suite, with the master including two closets and an ensuite bathroom.
Condominiums will stand on top of two floors of commercial and retail space and look down on common green space with an outdoor recreation and eating area, part of Evergreen’s 10,000 square feet of amenity space. Bosa Properties has built three towers in the neighbourhood within the last five years. With Altamonte in 2007 and Claremont and Edgemont in 2009, the company has dominated the Westwood Village area in central Coquitlam.
When homeowners move in to Evergreen in 2015, it’s expected they’ll wait less than a year before they’ll be able to walk to two Evergreen Line stations in their neighbourhood. Slated for completion in 2016, the Evergreen Line has been attracting the interest of investors and home-hunters to pre-sale condominiums since the province announced in January it would move forward with construction after years of delays. The line will bring passengers from Evergreen’s neighbourhood to downtown Vancouver in 40 minutes, much less than highway commute times. An estimated 70,000 passengers are expected daily.
Coquitlam is pinning its hopes on initiatives such as the Evergreen Line and the Port Mann Highway 1 project to fuel its economic growth, according to the city. But Bosa Properties’ presence in Coquitlam in the last decade is a sign that long before the Evergreen Line was confirmed, the developers saw the city as ripe for a new population boom. For Cheryl Hsu, the timing of her purchase was perfect. And because Evergreen is surrounded by urban amenities — it will be two blocks from a mall, a community centre, Douglas College and a host of street-level shops and services — she doesn’t expect she’ll miss the social hustle and bustle of Vancouver.
“I have a lot of friends who live in the Evergreen area near the [Coquitlam Centre] mall, so I’ve been there many times before we bought and I know that area is expanding,” she says. “It’s better to buy it now, rather than wait until the area is all built up.” Bosa Properties was founded by Robert Bosa as the development arm of Bosa Construction. In the late 1950s, Bosa and his siblings emigrated from Italy and set up a construction and house-framing company. The Bosa brothers eventually formed their own companies, with Robert specializing in construction and development. The construction arm of the company has overseen the building of many buildings by other developers, as well as its own residential towers.
Many years in construction has taught Bosa Properties to perfect the small features that homeowners value once they’ve become accustomed to living in their spaces, says Daryl Simpson, senior vice-president of Bosa Properties. Simpson says finishes and details such as the use of solid wood-framed conventional closet and shower doors rather than bi-fold or sliding doors — which are more likely to become unstable off their tracks after years of use — make a big difference in the home’s quality.
“When it comes time to sell, people always advertise it as a Bosa home.”
Project location: Glen Drive and Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
Project size: 195 homes, with offices and retail
Residence sizes: One and two-bedroom suites, 591 — 1,337 sq. ft
Prices: From $265,900
Developer: Bosa Properties Inc.
Architect: Rafii Architects
Interior Designer: BYU Design
Sales Centre: 3005 Glen Drive (at Pinetree)
Hours: noon to 6 p.m., daily
Occupancy: Spring/Summer 2015
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