White Rock rising high with Sussex House

Sunday, April 27th, 2003

Breaking residential ground, Sussex House will offer spectacular new views to the coast community

Ashley Ford

(Luxury highrise condo living is coming to bucolic White Rock.)

Luxury highrise condo living is coming to bucolic White Rock.

The Rykon Group has started construction of Sussex House, a $45-million, four-tower, 150-all-concrete-unit project located on the former Safeway site at 15076 North Bluff Rd.

But the ambitious development, which affords spectacular views of Semiahmoo Bay to the west and south and of Mt. Baker to the east, will have a style and elegance all of its own, says Rod Voth, one of the principals with Rykon.

It is believed to be the biggest residential development yet undertaken in White Rock.

“While we say it is highrise development, it is really ‘White Rock highrise,'” Voth says.

“In actual fact there will be two eight-storey towers and two seven-storey towers, so they are not your usual gigantic towers.”

The development is breaking new residential ground in the border community. It has already garnered its fair share of admirers and, Voth admits, some detractors “who believe White Rock should have no building higher than three storeys.

“But we won the approval from council for the project,” he added.

Its major appeal is unit size. The homes are big by modern condo standards, starting at 1,135 square feet and ranging up to 2,000 square feet for penthouses.

Prices, that range between $250,000 and $600,000, seem positively cheap compared with the price of similar product in Vancouver.

The project’s quality and uniqueness has been enough to tempt Vancouver downtown condo-marketing genius Bob Rennie, of Rennie Marketing Systems Ltd., to step outside his ” downtown patch” for the first time to do the marketing.

Rennie says he was initially intrigued by the scope of the project. “But what really interested me was the fact they were going to create large livable homes where people could actually move in their full set of furniture and also have their families over. These are real homes,” he says.

“There is not a huge lot of that sort of product around the Lower Mainland, and I think it will have a huge appeal to not only White Rock and nearby single-family homeowners wanting to scale down, but also many others from around the region who want the traditional home lifestyle without all the work that comes with owning a single family home.

“This is exactly what this project offers without having to sacrifice living space to get it,” Rennie says.

Voth and partners Michael Maschek and Adrian Block secured the one-hectare site, the largest prime housing site in White Rock, late last year knowing it would give them the ability to produce something different.

“There is no doubt this location is spectacular, not just for its views but for the fact that every service one might want is within one block [it sits across from the Semiahmoo shopping centre],” Voth says.

“White Rock is a mix of single-family and condominiums but I think the leaky-condo issue had put the damper on condominium development. We saw it as an opportunity to build upper-end, concrete homes that would provide decent-sized living units at reasonably attractive prices.

“By Vancouver standards they are very cheap.”

The first tower now under construction contains 38 suites, the next two will have 28 each and the fourth will have 60 suites. Voth, whose company has built and developed in Vancouver, Seattle and the Interior, says the whole project will be completed by early 2005.

Although real marketing is just about to start there is strong evidence that buyers are already eager to buy into the larger-space concept.

“We have already sold 10 units and there is a list of people who want to know more,” Voth says.

© Copyright 2003 The Province


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