November 20, 2013

Osprey Village ‘perfect’ for new buyers

Spacious two-bedroom unit, nearby school and quiet neighbourhood all part of the appeal

Osprey Village

Project size: 24 row homes and 12 storefronts, the last of 330 developed in the village along the Fraser River
Project location: 10973 Barnston View Road, Osprey Village, Pitt Meadows
Home sizes: 2-bed and 2-bed + den (1,284 — 1,535 sq. ft.)
Prices: From $294,900
Maintenance fees: $0.17/sq. ft
Developer: Mosaic Homes
Architect: Ekistics Architecture Inc.
Interior design: Portico Design Group
Presentation centre: Ste. 101 — 10973 Barnston View Road, Pitt Meadows
Hours: noon — 6 p.m., daily
Contact: Bonnie Tao-Santos and Kristie Marsden
Telephone: 604-465-8712
Occupancy: Immediate

Special to The Sun

David and Brandy Ellers count themselves lucky. David’s father is only 30 minutes away, door to door, from their new Osprey Village home in Pitt Meadows — by air. David’s father pilots an amphibious Cessna 185 and “he can fly from Victoria in under 20 minutes, park his plane at Pitt Meadows airport and walk to our place in under 10 minutes,” David says. And while that isn’t the main reason why the two bought a new townhouse in the well-established community on the Fraser River, it’s a nice bonus.

It took a while for the Ellers to find their ideal home. “We were looking for about 10 or 11 months from White Rock to Surrey and Walnut Grove in Langley when we stumbled across Osprey Village. We absolutely love the community. It’s quiet and there are lots of young families here. It’s perfect for us.” The mix of tree-lined street-front commercial spaces with Georgian-style townhouses over top is more reminiscent of Vancouver’s Kitsilano or Main Street neighbourhoods than of a Fraser Valley farming community. “We really like the architecture and the feel of the neighbourhood. You are right on the river. There is a little Montessori school there so we have a place for our daughter.”

But one of the biggest draws, Ellers says, was that it offered so much space for the money. For four years, they had owned and lived in a 724-square-foot one-bedroom and den apartment on Lonsdale in North Vancouver. Overnight, they more than doubled their living space by purchasing a 1,519-square-foot home with two bedrooms and a den home at Osprey. Osprey, or Sawyer’s Landing as it was formerly called, was first developed about 2004 on the basis of a master community plan created by the Vancouver architectural firm Ekistics. It is definitely a departure from the classic suburb of the 1960s, firm partner Paul Fenske says.

“Through the 1960s, we understood our amenity was really our backyard,” he said. “That was because in post World War II, we had our car, which could shuttle us around our world from work to play to home and to office. Suburban lifestyle was the goal rather than living in the city. We are still living the legacy of that fragmentation of town planning.” By contrast, Osprey Village is an example of the new urbanism where community planners strive to integrate places to live and work, play and shop all in one, without having to use a car.

Mosaic Homes’ Geoff Duyker says the developer worked hard to avoid the cookie cutter look in the mix of residential and commercial, by creating wider streets and sidewalks and the peaked roofs of the mixed-use buildings. “The vision for this was to have an animated streetscape with businesses that were open during the day,” said Duyker on a recent tour. “We wanted Osprey Village to feel like it has evolved over time and to create architecturally distinct buildings with different exteriors, like this red brick and white brick.” Duyker noted that even the distance between the buildings is wider than in comparable developments, adding to the sense of spaciousness.

So far, the commercial space on the two-block street has been taken by a dog spa, nail bar, hair salon, massage shop and coffee shop, named Stomping Grounds. At the end of the street is the South Bonson Community Centre, a contemporary designed wood and glass structure that features a main hall, fitness rooms, an arts and crafts room and kitchen facilities. “It’s particularly popular for weddings, in fact it’s booked solid through the summer.”

There are 12 commercial units for sale, ranging from 409 to 441 square feet, with one of the new owners planning to open a convenience store. The models of two bedroom and two bedroom and den models are configured in two ways — one with the ground level devoted to a garage and the other dedicated to a home office or den, with a carport. Both models feature entrances at the back of the buildings. The show homes are developed as a den or design-suggested home office space on the ground floor, complete with powder room and a generous storage space that fits a river-style kayak, golf clubs and other sports equipment with another room left over for an optional stackable washer and dryer and counter space for folding clothes. Off the home office is a comfortable outdoor seating area large enough to accommodate at least two chairs and a table.

Stairs lead to an open-design living, dining and kitchen area with nine-foot ceilings. The kitchen features Whirlpool stainless steel appliances, a peninsula with a clean white cabinet system with stainless steel pulls and quiet close doors. Opposite is a small nook area that could serve as a bar or wine storage. Countertops are laminate or polished quartz. Sliding glass doors lead to a balcony with sufficient room for a table with two chairs and a barbecue. The dining area is roomy thanks to banquette seating along one wall. The main level has laminate wood flooring. The living room wall is reinforced to accept a widescreen TV and contains cord-concealed Internet wiring. The space’s modern look is emphasized through art niches at the top of the ground floor stairs with puck or mono-point gallery lighting.

A particularly pleasing architectural detail is the open riser wood stairs leading to the bedroom level, with a cutaway main level wall that increases the sense of airiness. The home also has recessed pot lights or track lighting throughout. Both the main and bedroom levels are made brighter by oversized windows, accentuated by a low sill and seven-foot-high glazing.

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