Firenze’s affordable luxury

Saturday, March 20th, 2004

CONDOS I Project’s grand opening next weekend is aimed at attracting discerning buyers


Firenze) CREDIT: Glenn Baglo, Vancouver Sun


Address: 600 Abbott Street, Vancouver

Project Size: 457 condominiums

Price and Size: $168,000 to $733,000; 560 square feet to 1,800 square feet

Architect: Hancock, Bruckner, Eng and Wright Architects

Developer: Henderson Development Group

Downtown Vancouver‘s condo fever may be on the verge of heating up again with the grand opening on March 27 of the Firenze project at International Village.

The project, which features 457 condominiums in two highrise towers and one lowrise tower, follows on the heels of last month’s sale of about 500 condos at the Yaletown Park project.

A condo-buying frenzy hit an unprecedented fever pitch Feb. 28 when buyers snatched up 494 suites in the two new Yaletown towers. It was the Vancouver record for one-day sales, although the project has since cooled and condominiums are still available there.

Kerry Lum, leasing manager for Henderson Development Canada Ltd., which is building Firenze, believes sales will be just as brisk there.

“We’re expecting a similar kind of response,” says Lum of Firenze, which means Florence in Italian. “We’re giving great value and are competitively priced.”

Firenze, which will be adjacent to General Motors Place and Andy Livingstone Park, is marketing itself as a “luxurious, yet affordable” home for the discerning buyer.

Homeowners will not only have quick access to professional sports venues and downtown entertainment facilities, but SkyTrain is right at their doorstep.

Amenities include a swimming pool and fitness centre, both with glass enclosures overlooking landscaped gardens.

Andy Livingstone Park provides tennis courts, a baseball diamond and a huge outdoor artificial turf for field sports.

Future plans also include an elementary school, daycare and community centre at the Firenze site, although Lum says they may not be ready for about seven years.

Condos range in size from 560 square feet to 1,800 square feet, with prices from $168,000 to $733,000. Floor plans include one, two and three bedroom units, but studio suites are not being offered.

Construction starts this summer and Firenze should be ready for occupancy in October 2006.

Lum says sales to pre-registered buyers have already been very brisk, although he declined to give actual numbers.

He says the nearby amenities include Chinatown, Gastown, Yaletown, the International Village Mall and the Tinseltown Cinemas. “We’re in the middle of it all.”

The 844-square-foot display suite at the Firenze office at 197 Keefer Place is a two bedroom unit, with an enclosed solarium, an open balcony, and a home office that could also be used for storage. Granite countertops in the kitchen are standard, but are options for the bathroom. Living room and dining room flooring can also be upgraded for $1,100 plus GST in a one-bedroom unit and $2,900 plus GST in a two-bedroom unit.

Ceilings are about eight feet high and an electric fireplace is the living room’s centrepiece. Stainless steel applicances are standard.

One parking stall is included for each unit and extra parking spaces can be bought for $15,000 plus GST. Extra storage is $1,500 plus GST.

Monthly maintenance fees are about 30 cents per square foot and include heating.

Andre and Rose Wong bought a two-bedroom suite for about $400,000 this week.

“We now live in California,” says Andre Wong, “but we plan on moving back here. And we plan on living here. The fact that they’re building a school and daycare here is very attractive.”

Henderson Development Canada is an affiliate of the Henderson Group, a Hong Kong development company.

© The Vancouver Sun 2004


Comments are closed.