Friday, November 27, 2009

Vancouver Condos

Vancouver's beautiful skyline at sunset...
...and the gorgeous view in the opposite direction!

The Livehigh team recently travelled to Vancouver.  For some of us, it was our first trip out to the west coast and boy, were we smitten!  We have fond memories of Granville Island, Robson Street and Stanley Park...but we can't forget to mention the purpose of our trip:  the condos!  Celebrated for its natural scenic beauty, Vancouver is also known as the City of Glass* given the many glass condo towers that dominate its skyline.

Some observations from our visit after the jump...
  • We popped into a few new condo sales centres and found projects starting at $480/sq ft.  At the lower price points, you may want to consider  the  up-and-coming  Downtown Eastside area.  Prefer something with an ocean view?  Expect to pay $800-1,000/sq ft -- if not more!
  • We stayed downtown for half of our visit and loved the convenience: most essentials were within walking distance, so a vehicle wasn't necessary.  Parking downtown was mostly metered, with rates ranging from $1/hr to $3 for a half hour.  It's not the cheapest.  One thing we loved: we were able to use our mobile phones to pay the parking fee!
  • In preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics, the city has made some great improvements to their infrastructure.  Examples include the expansion of the Sea-to-Sky highway (to Whistler), the expansion of the SkyTrain Canada Line linking Downtown to Richmond and Vancouver International Airport, and perhaps most notably, the Olympic Village.   After the Games, the Olympic Village will become a new neighbourhood in Southeast False Creek, adding to the city approximately 1,100 residential units!  That's 730 condos, 120 market rental apartments and 250 proposed affordable rental apartments alongside a new community centre, restaurants, and other neighbourhood amenities.
Needless to say, we had a great trip.  Look out for our addition of the City of Vancouver to the site in the new year!

*City of Glass. Written by Douglas Coupland, published by Douglas and McIntyre in 2000.