Kids race up the stairs with their parents in tow in the three-bedroom show home at Surrey’s new townhome community, Fleetwood Rise. The Star Wars poster that lights up in a pre-teen’s bedroom and the cool bunk beds in another are certainly kid magnets, but it’s Anthem Properties’ commitment to building better housing for growing families that’s the main attraction for parents and young couples.
“We talked to real families with two to four kids to find out exactly what they were looking for because there’s a shortage of housing for large families everywhere,” says Elva Kim, Anthem’s vice-president of sales and marketing.
“What’s exciting for us is that people from The Rockwoods, our first townhome development in the Fleetwood neighbourhood in Surrey that caters to small families (and which was nominated for a Georgie Award for Best Townhome Community in 2013) are now looking at the 131 townhomes at Fleetwood Rise. That’s because it offers three and four bedrooms to meet the needs and demands of their growing families,” Kim explains.
That surge to find affordable family homes in Surrey is reflected in the 2016 Census, which named Surrey as the second-fastest growing city of the 21 municipalities that make up Metro Vancouver.
The contemporary Fleetwood Rise townhomes, which reflect West Coast style over three levels and range from 1,210 to 1,644 square feet, are designed by Ekistics Architecture. They exude a sense of community, with meandering, landscaped and well-lit paths and green spaces by landscape architect, Durante Kreuk Ltd.
Two Fleetwood clubhouses are on the west and east ends, each with a party lounge, kitchenette and patio to further encourage socializing. Across the street, the Surrey Sport and Leisure Complex offers Olympic and tot pools, childcare services and a selection of fitness classes and skating in the winter.
“Pinterest was actually one of the first platforms we researched for on-trend, kid-friendly interior design for Fleetwood Rise,” says Janine Wilson, designer-owner of The Mill in North Vancouver.
“For example, as you enter the lower level from either the front entrance or two-car double garage, there is a nice-sized carpeted den that can easily be transformed into a child’s playroom to stash all their toys. Then, when a child is older and demands more privacy, it can transition into a pre-teen bedroom.
“For parents, the den is a perfect office space away from the upper floors. And, many people love the idea of the powder room on this floor: it’s perfect for potty training or when everyone comes in with muddy boots,” laughs Wilson.
Light streams through a large vertical stairwell window leading up to the spacious wide-plank laminate main floor, showcasing the bright, open-concept living room/dining room and kitchen layout. At one end, sliding glass doors invite access to a large terrace and with the addition of tall leafy potted plants, a private oasis in which to entertain. Some of the townhomes are designed with the powder room off the kitchen instead of on the lower level, a convenience for many, given that the main floor will attract the greatest amount of traffic.
Who says kid friendly can’t be contemporary and stylish? All walls and Shaker-style or flat-panel kitchen cupboards are scrubbable and Wilson and her team chose a palette of pale grey contrasted with walnut laminate throughout. “Grey is a huge design trend in magazines right now,” she says, also referencing West Elm and EQ3 in Vancouver for design ideas. “Quartz counters and island tabletop, porcelain backsplashes similar to subway tiles all mean easy clean-up, too.”
Wilson gave thought to all the details when designing for family living. For example, the microwave is built into the kitchen cabinets above the stainless steel Whirlpool gas range, not in the island where little hands might play with the door. As well, the side-by-side front-loading Whirlpool washer/dryer has a built-in wide table anchored across their tops for folding laundry and storage and is hidden away in a closet on the main floor.
Carpeted in neutral, strong-wearing broadloom is in stairwells and throughout the upper floor; it’s a soft touch for little padding feet as well as a welcome quiet for those congregating in the kitchen and living room below. The master bedroom comfortably fits a queen-size bed, and there’s a walk-in closet and ensuite with double sinks and walk-in shower. “We put the soaker tub in the main bathroom between the other bedrooms thinking that would be most convenient for a family with young kids,” Wilson says. “The standard shower-head can easily be refitted with a detachable one to make it easier to wash little kids’ hair.”
With both elementary and high schools nearby, as well as shopping and dining (the latter including including award-winning chef Vikram Vij’s My Shanti), Elva Kim reiterates, “Fleetwood Rise really speaks to this community.”
Project Location: 103 — 16433 Watson Drive, Surrey
Project Size: 131 townhomes: (eight) two-beds, three-beds-plus-den, and four-beds
Prices: $500,000 — mid $600,000
Unit Size: 1,210 — 1,644 square feet
Interior design: The Mill, North Vancouver
Sales Centre: 103 — 16433 Watson Drive
Contact: Suzy Kim, Sales Manager
Centre Hours: noon — 6 p.m., Sat — Thurs
Occupancy: October 2017 to summer 2018
View the original article by the Vancouver Sun, here.