January 26, 2012
The Gardens Setting Attracts Attention
Former theme park site draws plenty of interest as Richmond’s new green oasis
With thousands of hectares of fertile soil set aside for farming thanks to the Agricultural Land Reserve, it’s entirely fitting that Richmond is known as the Garden City. And in the 1980s, Richmond’s biggest tourist attraction was the Biblical theme park known as Fantasy Gardens. Located close to Highway 99 and Steveston Road, Fantasy Gardens has gone through two ownership changes since that time, with Richmond-based Townline Homes purchasing the property in 2006. The 22 acre site has been re-named The Gardens and is starting to attract a lot of positive attention.
Chris Colbeck, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for Townline says, “One of the very exciting aspects of this project was the extensive and cooperative community participation in the planning process to create a vision for this very unique South Richmond community. From the thoughtful input in the 12 acre natural gardens to the overall site plan, local involvement by the residents was great.”
That’s not to say that all of the old Fantasy Gardens will be removed from the site. The famous castle entrance – a replica of the Couverdon castle that was given to British Columbia as part of the Expo 86 celebration and later moved to Fantasy Gardens – will be turned into a Richmond city-owned community day care facility that will serve young families living in The Gardens and the surrounding neighbourhood.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the Gardens is that more than half of the site – 12 out of 22 acres – will be transformed into a combination of parkland and gardens that has been officially turned over to the city of Richmond for the enjoyment of everyone. Over 800 mature trees have been liberated from the coarse underbrush and will be lovingly landscaped by the City of Richmond’s award-winning Parks and Recreation department team.
lifestyle community with residential friendly amenities, shops, stores and restaurants
There will be a total of five gardens on-site. Influenced by Richmond’s rich farming heritage, the Play Gardens will be an open, green space specifically built for children to discover, play games, and run free. The agricultural theme is expanded on the Farm Gardens, an acreage that has been set aside for local area residents who want to try their hand at cultivating their own fresh, organic food. The Secret Garden is perfect for the simple beauty of doing nothing at all, just thinking, meditating, reading or admiring the lush scenery, while the Celebration Garden will host birthdays, picnics, anniversaries and other special occasions. A refurbished barn will offer program space for gardening classes and workshops, and the garden will be irrigated using stormwater run-off.
There are many other attractions to living at The Gardens as well. Colbeck continues: “The uniqueness of this South Richmond location is wonderful. This is one of the least congested parts of Richmond, but it has all the conveniences a resident could ever need. In addition to The Gardens being its own lifestyle community with residential friendly amenities, shops, stores and restaurants, it is also close to major roads and emerging shopping centres and the Richmond Public Library, which has become a real community gathering place. South Richmond has never seen a master plan community quite like this and we are finding many of our future residents are moving from other areas of Richmond.”
Homeowners will also have exclusive access to the 6,000 square foot Gardens Club that will feature a fitness centre, gymnasium for badminton and basketball, plus a meeting room. Ironwood Plaza and Coppersmith Mall are just across the street, with Riverport multiplex entertainment centre only a short drive away. To the north, downtown Richmond offers incredible shopping, restaurants, cafés, and karaoke bars. Kingswood, Daniel Woodward, and the Richmond Christian School are close by.
The Gardens is being constructed to the very highest standards by Townline, a Richmond based company with a proven track record of working with communities in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Their portfolio includes single-family homes, market and non-market multi-family housing, urban in-fill, heritage restoration, mixed use and commercial/retail developments. Townline’s partner TA Group is a global organization that constantly sets new benchmarks for quality lifestyle and living.
Townline is at the forefront of the industry in developing sustainable solutions and creating communities that have a sense of place as opposed to merely being a collection of buildings. The appliance and home decor package for The Gardens clearly shows Townline’s environmental considerations. Kitchens feature GreenGuard Certified Greenlam cabinets and doors, with high efficiency Energy Star stainless steel appliances. The interior space floor covering utilizes stain-resistant and recyclable 100% BCF nylon carpet. Quartzite slab countertops, a stainless steel drop-in sink, and brushed nickel hardware, and solid, rectified floor tiles round out the kitchen feature set.
The first phase of housing at the Gardens consists of 182 homes in two four storey buildings—Magnolia (only 20 percent remain) and Azalea in addition to approximately 60,000 square feet of neighbourhood-friendly commercial and retail space. One bedrooms start from $238,800 and two bedrooms from $309,800, including the net sales (HST/GST) tax.
Presentation Centre located at 10640 No.5 Road, Richmond
Open Daily 12-5pm, except for Fridays