Suites at District – 299 E. 7th Ave., Vancouver – priced below comparable resale properties

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Trendy, arty and the price is right

Lena Sin

The development is comprised of two new condo buildings and a restored heritage building. __SUBMITTED PHOTO

Buyers have walnut or oak hardwood floors for the entry, kitchen, living and dining rooms. The high ceilings and big windows give the suites a bright, airy feel. Photograph by: Les Bazso, The Province

The kitchens feature solid stone counters and stainless steel Kitchen Aid Architect II appliances. Photograph by: Les Bazso, The Province

The Facts

What: District South Main, 103 condos in the first building. (A second building, to be released at a later date, will have 148 units.)

Where: 299 E. 7th Ave., Vancouver

Developer: Amacon

Sizes: Studio, 425 sq. ft.; one bedrooms from 544 to 616 sq. ft.; one bedroom and den from 611 to 737 sq. ft.; two bedrooms from 763 to 978 sq. ft.; two bedrooms plus den at 882 sq. ft.; and one bedroom lofts from 686 to 885 sq. ft.

Prices: Studios starting at $223,900; one bedrooms from $279,900; one bedroom plus den starting at $309,900; two bedrooms starting at $384,900; two bedroom plus den starting at $444,900; and one bedroom lofts starting at $329,900.

Open: Show suite open daily from noon to 6 p.m. at 299 E. 7th Ave. Sales start Oct. 3.

More info:

It’s clear Amacon did its homework before marketing its latest condo development in Mount Pleasant, one of Vancouver’s oldest and most creative enclaves: The show suites are furnished with art by local artists, the brochure was produced by a design firm in the ‘hood and floor plans were designed with artists in mind.

But at the end of the day, it’s price that drives sales and this is likely the biggest reason why District South Main is poised to attract buyers: Amacon says its suites are priced below comparable resale properties

“We competitively priced it. We knew that we had to be realistic,” said Nic Jensen, sales manager for District. “We’re back to pricing pre-construction homes lower than resales. That’s very reassuring; it gives the buyer confidence that there’s something being left on the table for them. And that’s how it was when everyone was buying five or six years ago.”

Prices start at $223,900 for a studio of 425 sq. ft., while one bedrooms between 544 sq. ft. to 616 sq. ft. start at $279,900. Two bedrooms, from 763 sq. ft. to 978 sq. ft., start at $384,900 — which Jensen notes is comparable to a one bedroom in Yaletown.

It’s for this reason that the preview has been drawing prospective buyers from downtown, the suburbs and, of course, the local Main Street neighbourhood.

“The building and location itself is very trendy. There’s definitely pent-up demand to live in the area,” says Jensen.

Located at 299 E. 7th Avenue, just half a block off Main Street, the development is comprised of two new condo buildings plus a restored heritage building that will be turned into commercial space.

In designing District, Amacon was cognizant that it was building in a neighbourhood with a strong sense of community that values both creativity and authenticity.

As such, the restored heritage building, which once housed beer, supplies and horses for the nearby Brewery Creek, will see half its commercial space allocated to artists, be it a dance studio or art gallery. Amacon has yet to determine who will be moving into the other half.

Amacon is currently marketing the condos in the 10-storey south building, with 103 units. The second building will be nine storeys with 148 condos. There is no release date on the second phase yet.

Building on the success of its Beasley development downtown, whee Amacon slashed prices by a minimum of 22 per cent in the spring in order to push sales, they’ve similarly kept prices down at District by negotiating lower costs on the construction side.

And in partnership with radio station Rock 101, Amacon is giving away a 630-sq.-ft. condo, as well as a $15,000 Harley Davidson, a Fuego barbeque and iMac computer package. Two hundred keys will be given out and on Nov. 6, a draw will be held and the winner announced on Rock 101.

Completion for the first building is slated for July 2012. The preview is on now with sales starting Oct. 3.

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