Where time is money: Tandem offers residents Skytrain entry to downtown

Saturday, June 26th, 2004

Michael Sasges

CREDIT: Stuart Davis, Vancouver Sun As if framed by their future, Tandem buyers Patrick Ah-Yu and Ali Quiros are also standing at the project model as if on Dawson Street and as if between their new home and the Gilmore SkyTrain station.

CREDIT: Stuart Davis, Vancouver Sun Top, there’s nothing as-if about this aerial photograph, a version of which commands one wall in the preview centre, and demonstrates that, by rapid transit, the downtown isn’t so far from home.

CREDIT: Stuart Davis, Vancouver Sun Of love at first site, Ali Quiros and Patrick Ah-Yu know a thing of two: ‘The first time we went through the presentation centre we instantly loved it. The layout was great and the cabinets, fixtures and appliances were exactly what we were looking for.’ The couple bought a two-bedroom, 10th-storey home for $253,900. Its floorplan is reproduced above.

The two-tower Tandem development in Burnaby, near Boundary and Lougheed, is an “incredible value,” especially for young couples who want

to be close to downtown but can’t afford a downtown residence, Tandem’s marketer promises.

Homes in the one tower on offer are selling for around $300 a square foot, compared to homes downtown for around $450 a square foot, Jason Craik of MAC Real Estate Solutions Inc. says.

“These buildings offer an incredible value proposition,” says Craik. “Young couples that want that proximity to downtown and can’t afford $450 a square foot are saving tens of thousands of dollars by locating 15 minutes away from downtown.”

The development is located across Dawson Street from the Gilmore SkyTrain station.

”That’s been one of the key selling points of this project,” Craik reports of the relationship between the Millennium line and Tandem.

”The Bentwood neighbourhood is already a wonderful and convenient place to live,” adds Cameron McNeill, Craik’s partner. ”And in the next five years, the entire area will transform from a mixed-use area to a vibrant urban residential neighbourhood.” Tandem buyers Ali Quiros and Patrick Ah-Yu, both 25, said they were attracted to the development because it was close to Skytrain and all the amenities.

”The first time we went through the presentation center we instantly loved it. The layout was great and the cabinets, fixtures and appliances were exactly what we were looking for,” Ali says.

”Because we are planning on having a family we were drawn to the courtyard, the child-play area, the creek and walkway that will run behind the building and the fitness centre.”

The Richmond native says the almost two years she and Patrick, a Vancouver native, must wait before taking up residency is a ”bonus for us.” The builder expects occupancy to occur in April, 2006.

”We can keep our lifestyle the way it is while continuing to save for our future.”

They paid $253,900 for a two-bedroom residence on the 10th storey, with a view to the southeast.

For a couple who currently rent the downstairs suite in a home owned by Patrick’s brother and his wife, the leap to a quarter-of-million-dollar, 10th-storey residence must have been accompanied by butterflies?

”It has been an interesting experience and one that we will not forget,” Ali comments. ”Throughout this process we found that it was important to ask questions, and check several places. We have been watching interest rates and purchase prices, keeping our options open and making it easier to be sure about our decision.”

Ali says their search for their first home has convinced them that home-ownership is achievable by most young couples in similar circumstances. Both are employed; she’s a marketing coordinator and he’s a computer technician.

”With all the new developments these days, they are really geared towards lifestyles, whether ‘downtown living’ or a ‘family village,’ there is one out there for everyone.

So as new home-buyers we recommend that you find a development that suits your lifestyle and you’ll be sure to be happy. It is definitely better to invest in your lives, instead of renting and paying off someone else’s mortgage.”

One of the reasons Ali is certain they’ll be happy is that one of the cats who permits Ali and Patrick to share his life says it will. Ali recalls that after two months of visiting presentation centres they decided to consult one of their two cats, all the competing information packages at hand:

”The final test was when we laid all the packages on the bed and asked one of the cats where he wanted to live? You guessed it! He walked over to the Tandem package and sprawled out all over it.”


Location: Gilmore and Dawson, Burnaby

Developer: Anthem Properties

Architect: Lawrence Doyle Architect Inc.

On offer: 320 one-bedroom, two-bedroom, one-bedroom-loft and penthouse residences

Prices: One bedroom, 631 – 638 sq.ft, $171,900 – $197,400 ($273/sq.ft. – $308/sq.ft.); two bedroom, 855 – 880 sq.ft, $236,900 – $271,900 ($277/sq.ft. – $309/sq.ft; one-bedroom loft, 741 sq.ft., $243,900 – $253,900 ($239/sq.ft. – $343/sq.ft.

Maintenance monthly, estimated: One bedroom, $143.50; two bedroom, $190.50

Rentable: Yes

Construction: Concrete

Warranty: 2-10-10, ”longest warranty in the business,” Cameron McNeill reports

Presentation centre: 4140 Dawson, open daily except Friday, noon to 5 p.m.

Telephone: 604-299-5777

Website: www.tandemliving.com


© The Vancouver Sun 2004

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