The Columbia at Brewery District 285 Nelson’s Court New Westminster 242 homes in a 26-storey tower by Wesgroup Properties

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

The Columbia boosts residential stock at the Brewery District

The Vancouver Sun

The Brewery District in New Westminster is a project from Wesgroup Properties made up of four commercial buildings and four residential towers on a 3.6 hectare site

Buyers of units at The Columbia can opt for one of two colour schemes ? this darker malt option, or blond, which has lighter-coloured laminate floors and lower kitchen cabinetry.

Kitchens in the Columbia will have large-format subway tile backsplashes and quartz countertops

Wahsrooms will boast large soaker tubs and porcelain tile walls

Project name: The Columbia at Brewery District

Project address: 285 Nelson’s Court, New Westminster

Developer: Wesgroup Properties

Architect: Chris Dikeakos Architects Inc.

Interior design: Wesgroup

Project size: 242 one-, two- and three-bedroom homes

Residence size: 515 — 1,480 square feet

Price: from $309,900

Sales centre: 285 Nelson’s Court, New Westminster

Centre’s hours: noon — 5 p.m.

Phone: 604-525-3941


Occupancy: 2019

At the Brewery District master-planned community in the Sapperton area of New Westminster, an 18-storey bubble motif in cut steel  will decorate The Columbia tower — a nod to the history of the area that was once home to Labatt Brewery.

That history has influenced the development of the community.

Wesgroup Properties began planning the site in 2007 and completed several of the commercial buildings before starting work on the residential towers. Typically, says Evan Allegretto, Wesgroup’s director of development, residences are the first phase of construction. However, the company was influenced by the history of Sapperton and the many jobs provided by the brewery, and in a bid to bring back jobs to the neighbourhood, the commercial space was completed first, he says.

This approach also means that the new amenities contribute to the Sapperton neighbourhood and are in place when residents move in.

When completed, the nine-acre site will comprise eight buildings: four commercial developments and four residential towers. Save-On-Foods is the anchor tenant in the first building, which was completed in 2010. In addition to the well-known grocery chain, this building on East Columbia Street has 60,000 square feet of strata office space, much of it occupied by health care-related businesses. Translink is a major tenant in the second commercial building, completed in 2013. The building on Nelson’s Court is also home to Browns Socialhouse, Shoppers Drug Mart and the ubiquitous Starbucks.

The residential components of the site include the 14-storey The Sapperton, which has 114 condos, and is currently under construction. The Westminster is an 18-storey tower that will add 187 additional homes to the rental pool in New Westminster. The 26-storey The Columbia comprises 242 homes, while the fourth residential tower is still being finalized.

The 26-storey Columbia is attracting buyers of all ages who are at different stages of their lives. “The buyers are a mix of people who are downsizing, first-time buyers and young couples,” says sales manager Bethany Taylor.

Feedback from buyers shows that people are attracted by the sense of community and the location that is convenient to transit and the existing shops and amenities in the area, adds Taylor.

The Columbia’s homes include one-, two- and three-bedroom options ranging from 515 to 1,480 square feet. Buyers can choose from two colour palettes, Blonde and Malt, a playful reference to the Brewery District’s history. The Blonde option has lighter laminate floors, lower kitchen cabinetry and backsplash, while choosing the Malt palette will result in a darker wood laminate floor, lower cabinetry and duskier backsplash.

Major appliances in the kitchen are all stainless steel by KitchenAid, except in the one-bedroom units where the refrigerator is a 24-inch Whirlpool. Appliances include a 30-inch refrigerator with french doors and bottom freezer; a 30-inch five-burner gas convection range; and an Energy Star dishwasher. The 1,000-watt microwave is conveniently placed in the kitchen island. The range hood is a pull-out model by AEG.

Quartz countertops, large-format subway tile backsplashes, premium Kohler faucets and an under-mount stainless steel sink add an elegant quality to the kitchens. Soft-close technology in European-style cabinetry with glossy light-coloured upper cabinets and wood-laminate lower cabinets are a design standout in the always-important hub of the home.

Kohler’s water-saving Class Five toilets are standard in the bathrooms where large soaker tubs and porcelain-tile walls contribute to a spa-like ambience. Semi-frameless glass showers are a feature in select homes, as are custom linen closets. All condos have a full-sized Whirlpool front-load washer and stacked dryer.

Careful planning has ensured that most homes will have spectacular views of the Fraser River through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

“The residential buildings are positioned on the diagonal to the Fraser River,” explains Allegretto. “The lowest parts of the buildings are on the most southern portion of site and get higher on the north-east side of the site. The gradual transition of height maximizes sight lines.”

On a clear day you can see Mount Baker, says Allegretto. But, on any day, the Port Mann and Pattullo bridges are a scenic backdrop to the busy Fraser River, where there is always activity and something interesting to watch, Taylor adds. Homes that don’t overlook the river have mountain views of the Golden Ears summit.

The Columbia’s amenities include shared garden plots, an off-leash dog park and dog-wash station, a play area, a spacious terrace with lounge, barbecue and dining area. Thoughtful conveniences include space for cold storage for online grocery orders, and a parcel delivery area.

Each condo has a parking bay and storage locker and bike storage for cycling enthusiasts. There is a car-wash station and 42 visitor parking stalls.

In addition to each tower’s amenities, Club Central is a 10,000-square-foot facility that includes a fully equipped gym, yoga and dance studios, a squash court, sauna and steam rooms. There is also a craft room, meeting rooms (great if you work from home and need a professional place to meet) plus a large indoor lounge and gourmet kitchen.

But one of the Brewery District’s biggest attractions is its location.

“New Westminster is the geographic centre of the Lower Mainland, and the Brewery District is less than 200 metres to the Sapperton SkyTrain station. It is only two stops to the Millennium Line and the new Evergreen Line,” Allegretto says.

Also nearby by is British Columbia’s oldest hospital, the Royal Columbian Hospital. The hospital opened in 1862 and has been providing health care services from its site in Sapperton since 1889.

© 2016 Postmedia Network Inc

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