October 9, 2012

Project is proving to have wide appeal

Row homes were aimed at new buyers, but turn out to be a good option for empty nesters, too


Project location: Port Coquitlam
Project size/scope: four phases with 114 row homes, one-bedroom loft
(851 sq. ft – 903 sq. ft); two-bedroom (1,183 – 1,194 sq. ft) and two-bedroom and den (1,202 – 1,404 sq. ft)
Prices: one-beds from $259,900; two-beds from $344,900
Monthly strata fees: 15 cents a sq. ft ($180 for 1,195 sq. ft)
Developers/Builders: Mosaic Homes
Architect-Designer: Ramsay Worden Architects
Interiors: Portico Design Group
Contact: Rosalin Wang Foong
Phone: 604-230-9388
Web: dominion@mosaichomes.com
Email: rosalin. wangfoong@mosaichomes.com
Presentation Centre: 2423 Avon Place, Port Coquitlam
Hours: noon — 6 p.m., daily
Occupancy: Immediate


Special to The Sun

Atusa Partovi had given up the idea of owning her own home until her son — a recent university graduate who wanted to invest in real estate — suggested they look at some possibilities together. “I said we can look, but I never thought in a million years that I could own because condo prices were so high,” Partovi said. “And I didn’t want to live in an apartment.”

Their search brought them to Dominion, Mosaic Homes’ Georgian-style row home development in Port Coquitlam, a project that is proving popular with both first-time homebuyers looking for affordable housing and downsizing empty nesters seeking an alternative to highrise living. “We were looking through the newspapers and we saw an ad that said Dominion’s monthly payments will be this much. I thought: that is even lower than my rent.”

They paid a visit to Dominion, which put its first phase on the market in May. “I loved it. I loved the neighbourhood. I loved the street, I loved the outdoor view,” Partovi enthused. “It was so different, so unique and so European.” After discussing possible monthly payments, Atusa says, “I looked at my son and said ‘We can do that.’” She withdrew money from her RRSP and combined it with her son’s money to buy a two-bedroom home. She moved in last August.

Mosaic’s Geoffrey Duyker said the firm’s goal in building Dominion was to provide housing for first-time homebuyers at a price they could afford. He was surprised, though, when at least 20 per cent of those who bought were downsizing from single- family homes and wanted to stay in the Tri-Cities. It was not difficult to persuade them that they might prefer something else besides a condo in a Coquitlam Centre highrise. “We’re saying, ‘Hey, wouldn’t you rather have your own front door, a backyard, a two-car garage, room for a pet and kids at the same price?’”

In fact, the Georgian style of architecture, with its iconic front-door columns, black metalwork flowerboxes, brick facades and well-crafted millwork, is one of the most mentioned attractions of the 48 row homes built so far on this property, Duiker says. Sales have been brisk through the summer. Mosaic has sold 36 homes since opening Dominion last spring, with a $10,000 Visa gift card promotion fuelling at least 14 sales in September alone.

Duiker attributes the strong sales to the lack of comparable product in the Tri-Cities area and the attractive pricing, as well as design features that resonate with the target groups. Mosaic, with five developments currently for sale across Metro Vancouver, has its teams visit a family six to 12 months after they have moved in to check out “how they are living.” “We asked them, ‘What do you love about your place and what could we do better?’ We see how they have placed furniture, what they are using most and what they’re not using and then we feed it back into our current projects.”

The result is that Mosaic has ensured that master bedrooms at Dominion have a 12-foot wall that can accommodate a king-sized bed; that there is sufficient closet space (a minimum of five linear feet in bedrooms); that living rooms can fit a sofa or even a sectional from which new homeowners can watch TV; and that window sills in the living room are high enough to allow for sofa backs. “A lot of homes get built without these things being fully thought through,” Duiker says.

There are 10 different models available at Dominion. The two-bedroom and den units offer a room off the entry that can be used as a study, a games or sewing room, and some units offer a washroom with a neo-angle shower unit. A same-level door opens on to a garage with storage under the stairs that lead to the next living level. Some units provide enough space to park two vehicles end on end while others offer parking for one car inside and driveway parking for the second vehicle. There is ample cupboard space in each for storing household items.

Stairs to the main level and bedroom floors feature cutaway walls that allow light to spill into each stairwell. Loop pile carpeting throughout bedrooms, den, upstairs hallway and stairways complements laminate wood floors in the living, dining and kitchen areas. Main levels are configured slight differently depending on the plan. In the ‘F’ plan (1,202-square-foot two bedroom and den) the dining area stands between L-shaped kitchen against one end wall and the living room on the other.

In the ‘C’ plan end-unit home (1,190-square-foot two-bedroom and den), the kitchen is in the middle between the living and dining rooms. Oven range and microwave, sink and refrigerator are located in a bump-out area with the dishwasher situated in an island. The developer provides Samsung appliances with ceramic top stainless steel ranges, over-the-counter microwave and stainless steel dishwasher, while a 25.5-cubic foot refrigerator with ice and water dispenser, and washer and dryer units upstairs, are options.

On the upper level, the master ensuite features a shower surround while the second bathroom has a tub. A Mosaic-designed soaker tub is offered as an option. The one-bedroom loft units feature a bathroom with a surround shower stall. All units feature decks, with some including a small backyard that might appeal to downsizers looking to feel some grass under their feet or for young families with kids.

Wrap-around decks provide additional space for end units. The bonus is that mowing is covered by strata maintenance. Twenty-four of the units back onto Carnoustie Golf Course and privacy is maintained through tree screens both in the backyards and on the course. The development is well situated in terms of amenities.

It is a five-minute walk to the new Fremont Shopping Plaza, which is anchored by big-box stores such as Save-On-Foods, Walmart, Home Depot and Canadian Tire, offset by a street of storefront shops. The West Coast Express and Evergreen Line stations nearby provide easy access to Vancouver and for recreation, the Len Traboulay trail offers a pleasant walk along the Pitt River.

As well, the project’s owner-shared “Dominion House” has a games table, lounge seating, media centre with large screen viewing for TV or movies, an entertainment space with a kitchen, meeting and fitness rooms, and a children’s play area.

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