First-time purchasers pursued at Quattro 3 in Whalley

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

Proximity to Simon Fraser’s Surrey campus, affordable entry-level suites all part of the developer’s plan to attract young buyers

Mary Frances Hill

In the Quattro kitchens, marble will top counters and porcelain tile the floors. Ceramic tile will face the backsplashes and wood-grain laminate, the cabinet doors. PNG

Developer Charan Sethi’s journey to the Quattro 3 sales centre was long and detour plagued. A September 2008 fire destroyed the Quattro 1 building and damaged the Quattro 2 building. PNG

Dianne Watts, was on hand when Sethi declared he would rebuild. PNG


Project location: Surrey

Project size: 164 residences

Residence size: 425 sq. ft. — 998 sq. ft.

Prices: $149,900 — $399,900

Developer: Charan Sethi

Architect: Patrick Cotter Architect Inc.

Interior design: Portico Design Group

Sales centre: 114– 10768 Whalley Blvd.

Hours: noon — 5 p.m., Sat — Thur

Telephone: 604-581-8000

E-mail: [email protected]


Occupancy: November 2011

It was on Sept. 30, 2008 when a huge fire destroyed one of developer Charan Sethi’s two buildings at his Quattro development in the Surrey neighbourhood of Whalley, just two months before purchasers or their tenants were set to move in.

“That was probably the worst experience of my life,” Sethi recalls. “We saw so much good work destroyed in a couple of hours.”

But what a difference two years makes. Just 10 months after the fire, the Quattro 2 building was rebuilt, along with some damaged areas of Quattro 1, and relieved homeowners moved in.

It was a major setback, but not one that would prompt Sethi to abandon his plan to build what he sees as the community at the centre of Surrey’s rejuvenation of North Whalley.

The next step toward that goal is Quattro 3, a third complex comprised of 164 homes — studios, one-and two-bedroom suites and live/work lofts — that are priced to attract the growing number of younger people in the area.

The site for Quattro 3, part of a development plan that calls for the eventual inclusion of a fourth Quattro residential building, is two blocks from the Gateway SkyTrain station and four blocks from Surrey’s Simon Fraser University campus. An as-yet-to-be-constructed new Surrey City Hall and regional public library will be a few blocks away.

The development plans are all part of the strategy to create the new Surrey city centre, championed by Surrey city council under Mayor Dianne Watts.

The plans also include expanding the SFU campus, enlarging Surrey Memorial Hospital, and the building of a new RCMP headquarters and hotel-convention centre complex.

In 2006, Sethi’s development company, the Tien Sher Group of companies, purchased 12 acres of land surrounding the planned areas. In retrospect, it looks like a particularly savvy real-estate move, considering the city’s plans. But he says he always had confidence in the area and in Whalley’s potential.

At first, many in the real estate world thought he was nuts, he says.

“Everybody told me I was a fool, and asking me why was I buying in such a bad area. But it’s been my lifelong dream to develop this area, and every time I think about it, I get goosebumps.

“You don’t get many chances to buy a large piece of land that you could build a community around it.”

During the real-estate boom in 2007, Quattro’s first two buildings sold swiftly — in a mere four hours. Back then, Quattro’s smallest suite, priced at $139,900, added fuel to the already-sizzling local market.

And then came the dive.

“The market was different, and the world has since taken a major shift,” says Dan Thomson of Mac Marketing Solutions, the sales and marketing team behind Quattro.

“We have now a good product in a decent market, but it’s nowhere near what it was.”

Thomson sees Quattro’s edge as being in a neighbourhood with a bright future as a city centre. “When you look at the values here long term, you’re looking at five-or 10-year investment plan.”

Sethi says he didn’t change much from the original two Quattro buildings when he designed Quattro 3, but he had to take a hard look at the economy, and what many people entering the marketplace could pay for their homes.

He knew the development would be attractive to young people looking forward to settling within walking distance to the SFU campus.

Sethi and Mac Marketing are hoping the studios will appeal to longtime renters hoping to get a foot in the door in the real estate market, the ones, says Sethi, who think: “‘If I’m a first-time buyer, I don’t really need an 800-or 900-square-foot home.”

At just over 400 square feet, Quattro’s smallest homes will appeal to the entry-level buyer because they include stacked washer-dryer units and the same finishings as the larger units, including granite countertops, wood-grain laminate cabinets and mosaic accent bathroom tiles.

The two-bedroom suites are fitted with one bathroom. The seven two-storey, two-bedroom live/work lofts, at just under 1,000 square feet, the seven two-storey, two-bedroom live/ work lofts also include a half-bath, or powder-room on the main floor.

All suites come with granite countertops, stainless steel kitchen counter/ breakfast bar, wood-grain laminate cabinets, carpeted bedrooms, storage lockers, oversized double-glazed windows and rainscreen technology.

Surrey‘s ambitious redevelopment plan, which also includes a new library, civic plaza, performing arts centre, and the revitalization of nearby King George Highway, will cost the city $500 million and take between five and 10 years to complete.

However, Thomson says Quattro’s marketing credo — “Bringing Yaletown to Surrey” — refers to the amenities and conveniences already in place in the Quattro neighbourhood. The city’s ambitious development plan “will just bring more of those services to your door.”

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One Response to “First-time purchasers pursued at Quattro 3 in Whalley”

  1. For more information on lofts check out our Vancouver Lofts website.