Townhomes range from one-bedroom units to family-sized three-bedrooms-and-den.
It’s a neighbourhood that thousands of Lower Mainland kids have visited over the years to learn about animals on a working farm. Now the community surrounding the famed Maplewood Farm is being transformed into a new family neighbourhood with the pending completion of the Maplewood Place townhouse development.
“If you look at what is happening in the market, young families are feeling priced out of single-family homes, not only in Vancouver proper, but also in North Vancouver,” said Peter Edmonds, director of marketing for Anthem Properties Group, Maplewood’s developer.
“People are looking for places where they can raise a family,” he said, adding being next to the farm is an ideal location.
The development faces east and west, giving some suites a direct view of the farm, one of Metro Vancouver’s top tourism sites. But more important for future occupants is the area was designated in 2011 as a village centre by the district of North Vancouver. The official community plan encourages new development in an area of older homes.
North Vancouver council found more diversity was needed in the district, where the primary type of housing developed in the 1960s and 1970s was the single-family home. The current shortage of different housing types was confirmed in a survey by real estate research firm Urban Analytics, which found only about 200 townhouses listed for sale in the first half of 2015.
District planners have long recognized that people are now seeking a lifestyle where they can become less car-dependent and able to live, work and play in the same area. The Maplewood Village plan seeks to do that by developing people-friendly amenities, including walking and cycling paths, and close access to schools, food stores, restaurants and other services. Work places are sprouting up adjacent to the residential area with the development of attractive business parks along the Dollarton Highway leading to Deep Cove.
So far, the district plan has proven to be a winner. A 36-unit townhouse development adjacent to Maplewood Place sold out earlier this year in a matter of months. To the immediate south, construction is underway on 80 residential rental units at the Northwoods Village shopping centre, which will be anchored by a new Stong’s grocery store, among other shops.
Edmonds says Anthem is expecting its Maplewood project to sell quickly this fall when sales officially begin mid-October.
“When we saw that we could bring a townhome community to this particular piece of land, it was an excellent opportunity to create real estate that works not only for us, but for the market,” Edmonds said.
Anthem has taken a slightly different approach than other North Vancouver developments, which have been largely dominated by two- and three-bedroom homes.
It has incorporated a dozen one-bedroom homes in the complex, ranging from 493 to 498 square feet.
“A vibrant community has a range of individuals in it,” Edmonds said. “The one-bedroom units are very affordable and a good way to get into the market.
“It is perfect for the student or single person, but definitely livable for a couple as well.”
Among the two-bedroom models are five homes of 1,086 square feet on a single level, and 24 homes ranging from 978 to 1,131 square feet on two levels. Rounding out the mix are 20 three-bedroom-and-den homes of 1,419 to 1,431 square feet spread over three levels.
While some families are looking to avoid stairs, others see a real advantage in living on two or three levels, Edmonds said.
“The up and down living is really attractive to young families. We are really happy at how well it works for a busy family.”
While the main floor is for dining, kitchen and living room space, the middle level serves as an excellent allocation of space for the kids, he said. The third level, which has a door at the base of the stairs, provides a den and master bedroom “retreat” for their parents.
“Thus, [it] is really fashioned after the traditional single-family home.”
Inside, some models feature a movable kitchen island for maximum flexibility. All homes have a single-bowl stainless steel Julien ProChef apron sink and stainless steel appliances with Whirlpool or Blomberg ranges, Fisher & Paykel or Whirlpool refrigerators, Whirlpool dishwashers and Panasonic microwaves with trim kits. Cabinetry features soft-close drawers and cabinet drawers and open shelving. Countertops are finished in quartz composite.
Bathrooms feature Duravit porcelain sinks and toilets and Grohe bathroom faucets. Select homes feature Frigidaire or Whirlpool washer and dryer situated in a laundry room.
The architects made clever use of space under stairways for bikes and other equipment.
As befitting a North Shore location, Maplewood is just minutes from such natural amenities as Lynn Valley suspension bridge and park, the Baden-Powell Trail, skiing at Mount Seymour and sailing and kayaking at Deep Cove on Indian Arm.
“The reality about this area is that you are surrounded by nature, “ Edmonds said.
At the same time, Maplewood’s location puts to rest the myth that one is isolated when living on the North Shore. Maplewood homeowners have access to the last on and off ramps at the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge, giving them quick access to downtown Vancouver, the Trans Canada Highway and other parts of the Lower Mainland.
Project location: 433 Seymour River Place, North Vancouver
Project size: 61 one-, two-, three- and three-bedroom-and-den family townhomes
Residence size: 493 — 1,431 sq. ft.
Prices: From upper $200,000s to upper $700,000s
Developer: Anthem Properties Group
Architect: Formwerks Architecture
Interior design: The Mill Interior Design Group Inc.
Sales centre: #5 — 433 Seymour River Place
Sales contact: Jenny Wun
Hours: noon to 5 p.m., Sat to Thurs