Pomaria sells 50 units before dispaly centre and sales office opens

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

The project’s Granville Slopes location may be key to the buyer frenzy

Marke Andrews

A downtown Vancouver townhouse development that won’t open for occupancy until March 2007 and has yet to open its display centre and sales office has already sold 50 of its 138 units.

Qualex-Landmark vice-president Chris Colbeck spent much of his Christmas Eve at his Melville Street office signing sales agreements with purchasers, all of whom had heard of the project by word of mouth.

“This caught me off guard,” Colbeck said Tuesday. “I only hired one sales manager and one sales assistant to be on-site for people who might be interested early. My full sales team doesn’t start until the end of January.

“We have brown paper up on the windows of our sales centre right now because we’re not opening until February.”

The 30-storey Pomaria, located at the south end of Howe Street at False Creek, will have 26 townhomes ranging from 1,310 to 1,600 square feet at the lower levels of the building, and 112 so-called “skyhomes” ranging from 718 to 1,400 square feet. Units will sell from about $340,000 to more than $1 million.

The Pomaria was designed by Vancouver‘s Rafi Architects Inc.

The frenzy by consumers for this Granville Slopes project flies in the face of recent trends. While housing starts in Vancouver were up last month by 49 per cent from November, 2003, housing sales in the province have fallen each month since August. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation regional economist Carol Frketich recently predicted slight growth in 2005 over 2004.

However, the finite number of sites downtown may fuel demand for housing there.

“We’ve got probably one of the last full-block developments in the Granville Slopes area, if not in the whole [downtown] core,” said Colbeck, whose company has developed several projects in Yaletown, the most recent being the Domus, which opened last year.

“This is not Yaletown,” said Colbeck of the new Howe Street development. “We’re not saying we’re Coal Harbour or trying to compete with them. We’ve found a niche area with a strong neighbourhood feel to it.”

Colbeck said housing in downtown Vancouver is still a hot market, so much so that he hasn’t been able to take a proper Christmas holiday.

“Even this morning I was dealing with someone on a contract for the site,” said Colbeck.

© The Vancouver Sun 2004


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