In Burnaby Metrotown, the good folks at BOSA Properties are scrambling to get into shark cages, lest they be eaten in the feeding frenzy beginning at their tower site at 4509 Kingsway.
We were alerted just a week ago that BOSA would have tents, heating and and porta-potties on site by 9 a.m. Friday, a full 25 hours before the Sales Centre was scheduled to open - i.e. Saturday at 10a.m. Suddenly matters threatened to get out of hand. Late on Tuesday night, after the final SOVEREIGN preview concluded, over 125 Buyers refused to go home. BOSA staff must be praised for being fast on their feet and putting together a solution. The details are in a Realtor Advisory which went out just after 11 A.M. today:
Bravo ! These measures will certainly deal with queue-jumpers, but it remains to be seen how staff will calm the agitated majority who will take a number but have no chance at all of securing an apartment. My suggestion is that BOSA give each disappointed client a hearty handshake and remind them that Intracorp's METROPLACE will begin marketing in about six weeks time. In addition there are several other mid-size towers coming to the Metrotown corridor. A Chinese language forum I consulted today reported that one less than generous Chinese realtor was offering placeholders $1,000 for three days of work. That is three 24 hour days! Now he can keep his cash in his pocket.A knot of prospective Buyers wait to enter the SOVEREIGN Tower sales centre on Kingsway. That was before noon on Feb. 10. The final Preview concluded last night (Feb. 15), and more than a 125 Buyers refused to go home. They elected to camp out over night and BOSA staff had to scramble to bring in tents, heating and toilets to keep them comfortable.
I should mention the offer of 1.9% Financing, which has figured prominently in BOSA marketing for SOVEREIGN Tower. For me at least, it was a very attractive proposition, especially in light of the Bank of Canada's firm decision to drive up the rates, over the next three years. Well, in brief, BOSA is offering 1.9 % on the first 80 units sold - and guarantee the rate for 36 months. If you have your own lender, the Buyer could opt for 5% on their purchase deposit. My sense of the situation is that the clientele, almost exclusively Mainland Chinese, are in no need of a break on financing. Pardon my enthusiasm, but that is the glory of this landmark project. The SOVEREIGN tower is a magnet for wealthy Chinese, and will pull in a container load of foreign dollars. Enough to fill the pay-packets of the local building trades and later create jobs in the hotel and the retail stores. The down-side of course is that SOVEREIGN is contributing to raising the ceiling on condo prices in Burnaby, although at 4509 Kingsway "market value" may settle out a tad lower in 2014, when short-term investors begin flipping units.
BOB RENNIE BLOWS A FUSE
If you missed the Vancouver SUN report on the Olympic Village pre-sale, which was conducted in secret over the weekend, you owe it to yourself to have a look. It's not often that pros like Rennie blow a fuse when talking to the press, but then it's also a rare day when condo Sellers force Buyers to sign confidentiality agreements. Mr. Rennie is now on the warpath because one of his confidential Buyer's, whom he termed "some A-hole", violated the agreement before the ink was dry. I don't know how long the Vancouver SUN will keep the article available online, (it's already buried by today's news) so I copied it to file. Jeff Lee's story, Olympic Village condos to go to market - again is worth your time.
CLOVERDALE, where antiques are out, condos in
Yes, Burnaby Metrotown is red hot, but property developers are beavering away in all eight corners of the GVRD. Maybe you read in the SUN recently that the famous Cloverdale Antiques Mall was forced to shut down. Customers were still thronging its many shops, but most of the stalls were run by retirees who could not swallow higher rents. The owner of the property was bent on jacking up rates - allegedly the increase was a near doubling, and the lease holder found himself in an untenable position. I must admit that I do most of my own antique and collectibles shopping in Bellingham, but still, Cloverdale has been a weekend mecca for so many families that it's sad to see an institution disappear.
The demolition of Cloverdale Mall (a separate location from the Antiques Mall) began on January 8, 2011. The building was a "leaker" in every sense, and looked its age. After SAFEWAY pulled out a few years ago all the other tenants fled, one by one. Cloverdale residents are now served by Surrey mega-malls. When this tired out property is finally cleared, construction begins on Cloverdale West Village, a wood frame complex with above retail condos. The term "Mall" is now so frequently shunned, it seems at risk of becoming another "antique". What is this mania for labeling every cluster of shops and homes a "village"? Will it end? [The Cloverdale Reporter has a story on the fate of the derelict mall: SLIDE SHOW]