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Developer begins sales for overhaul of Colwood Corners

Goldstream News Gazette, April 19, 2011

Developer begins sales for overhaul of Colwood Corners
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League Assets Corp. has started selling condominium units in a planned five-storey building at Colwood Corners, and has designs on a 25-storey building to follow.
MCM Architects

Units in the first five-storey condo building planned for Colwood City Centre were listed for private pre-sale last week.

Member-partners in the project at Colwood Corners were offered first dibs to buy one of the 76-units in the Triumph Gate building, which is planned as London Drugs on the main floor and residences above. The one- and two-bedrooms units range in size from 550 to 1050 square foot living areas for $230,000 to $360,000.

Adam Gant, founding partner of the developer League Assets Corp., said construction will begin after 40 units are sold, which will likely all go to the pre-registered buyers.

"We have a lot of interest on our wait list, but we're not expecting to sell every unit in the building," Gant explained, noting that people are reluctant to buy into a building before it's built since the collapse of the real estate market.

Once the minimum number of units are sold, the company plans to shift gears and start construction on the low-rise five-storey building while opening a display centre to attract buyers for units in 25-storey tower.

Gant expects it will take two years to complete the first building, which is planned with an aerial garden and community outdoor kitchen to be shared by all building residents, as well as a number of units with private garden patios.

When Triumph Gate is within six months from completion, the remaining units will be available for public sale. In the meantime, if all goes as planned, construction will have begun on the high rise.

"We're going to need a lot of people behind it, to get the tower moving ahead. That's why we're selling it (to the public) first," Gant explained.

The first phase of the project includes putting in two levels of underground parking, which Gant notes will be "a lot easier to navigate than Uptown."

Having just returned from a tour around B.C. and Alberta to showcase current League projects, Gant said there's a lot of retirees looking at moving into City Centre in particular.

"They're looking at it as an alternative to the snowbird idea, they want to live on Vancouver Island all year," he said.

The Colwood City Centre is designed to replace the outdated strip mall at Colwood Corners, on 10-acres of property where Goldstream Avenue meets Sooke Road. The developer is partnering with Solar Colwood to use low-carbon systems for heating and cooling units to create 10 suites with solar panels for net zero energy use.

If built to full capacity, the development could yield 3.8 million square feet of floor space, making it the third largest single-site construction project in Canada. Developers plan the buildout to extend over 15 to 20 years.

As the development reaches density milestones, public amenities will be integrated into the site, including a new Colwood fire hall, affordable housing units and a transportation hub.

While progress on nearby developments, such as Aquattro and Silkwind, have either failed or stalled since the recession, Gant said League Assents is a sizable company with $800 million in assets.

"It's been a challenging couple of years for us and everyone in real estate, but we have a lot of weight behind us making sure this project doesn't fail," he said. "We plan to break ground at the site this year." 


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