TV Towers on Robson Street

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

Concord is building the residential towers jointly with the CBC


Concord Pacific’s David Negrin is championing a TV Tower home as an affordable entry-level home. Lineups suggest he’s on to something. Photograph by : Ward Perrin, Vancouver Sun

(TV Towers on Robson) Photograph by : Ward Perrin, Vancouver Sun

(TV Towers on Robson) Photograph by : Ward Perrin, Vancouver Sun

(TV Towers on Robson) Photograph by : Ward Perrin, Vancouver Sun


Presentation centre: 1550 Homer Mews, Vancouver

Hours: 10 – 5 p.m. daily

Telephone: 604-899-8800


Developer: Concord Pacific

Architect: Walter Francl

Interior design: Situ Design

Project size: 2 towers, 454 residences

Residence size: 439 sq. ft. – 1,100 sq. ft., studios, one bedroom, one bedroom +den, two bedroom + den

Prices: $250,000 – $600,000

Warranty: National Home Warranty

Completion: November, 2008

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The 22-storey TV Tower 1 is sold out. The 32-storey TV Tower 2 isn’t, although it could be by this evening.

TV Tower 1 was fully bought after one month of selling in the fall.

TV Tower 2 attracted so much new-home-buyer interest that people lined up three days before the presentation centre opened for business, on Jan. 14.

The developer held back 90 apartments so it would have something to sell at its previously announced “grand opening” today.

“I was a bit surprised by the early lineups, but I wasn’t surprised we did so well,” Concord Pacific’s David Negrin says.

“It’s a great central location. Robson Street is a bustling area, you are close to Yaletown, the library, BC Place and the Ford Theatre. There are not that many residential towers along Robson.”

The TV Towers site is well known as the site of CBC’s regional headquarters.

Concord is building the two towers as a joint venture with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to redevelop the block into a sleek residential and commercial complex.

Concord won the bid to buy the property from CBC in 2004, which Negrin believes was partly in response to their proposal to integrate the residential towers with the national broadcasting company.

“We always envisioned the site as integrated with CBC, there’s even a walkway connecting it to CBC. The towers have a very active design, incorporating colour into the building.”

The orange of CBC is on the skin of the building and different mauves and greens are being used in the balcony glass, which again helps to tie the buildings into the CBC.

CBC is revamping its headquarters, to make it an more open and inviting building and more a part of the surrounding community. Construction on the new CBC building will begin in the spring, with completion slated for 2009.

The TV Towers on Robson follow European design trends in the interior spaces. This includes the use of high-glass white cabinetry in the kitchens with glass mosaic back splashes (a stainless steel backsplash upgrade is available as well as granite and stone countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms). There is a strong focus on clean lines and efficient floor plans.

There are nine typical suites per floor, including studios, one bedrooms and one bedroom with den and two bedrooms with den.

Negrin says the contemporary look of the towers appeals to a younger demographic, with most of the buyers in their 20s to 40s. He adds the price point is also affordable for first-time buyers.

“We are very competitive pricing. That’s what appeals to younger buyers. With 25 per cent down you could be paying $1,800 a month. That’s cheaper than renting.”

Negrin adds land is scare in downtown Vancouver and with the city’s moratorium on converting office space into residential developers are having to look elsewhere for projects.

“The key to this project is it’s on Robson. There is not much available downtown so it’s still a good deal for investors. Their investment will pay off.”

The smallest of the units is a studio at 439 sq. feet. Here the architect has used an open plan concept to expand the space.

Situ Design principal David Hepworth says in small spaces it’s important to make the interiors “clean and modern.”

“Small spaces stuffer from too much stuff. It’s a more simplified line of detail. We tried to pare it down to just one uniform palate of materials and colours,” says Hepworth.

For instance, of the two colour schemes , either light or dark, there would be the same countertops used in both the kitchen and bathroom to help unify the space.

Hepworth says the smaller units are geared for either a young professional or as a pied-de-terre home.

Research from Price Waterhouse Coopers recently indicated developers would be wise to build more of these smaller units.

The September Condo Market Review found “there was more demand for smaller units than what was being offered,” says vice-president Craig Hennigar.

“It could be a price point issue or more people living alone or people planning a lifestyle where they want a place to go away on the weekend. The message to developers was you could improve your profitability by selling more smaller units.”

Hennigar says even a bachelor suite, of 420 sq. ft., can be quite livable. “It all comes down to dayout and design and furniture systems,” he says.

Negrin says of the condos held back for sale today there is still a range available, from studios to one bedroom and den to two bedrooms and den.

The towers also have a 97,000 sq. ft. amenity space, with a whirlpool hot tub, steam room, sauna, yoga and pilates studio and full-equipped gym. There’s also a “Hollywood-style” screening room, sports lounge and games room, meeting room and 24 hour concierge.

© The Vancouver Sun 2006

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