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episode # 23

SEAandSKY in Squamish by BlueSky Properties with Dale Bosa and Daryl Simpson

53 acres, 8 kilometers of trails, 4 acres of parkland on the water, located underneath the Chief Mountain. This is the new SEAandSKY development by BlueSky Properties in Squamish!  2 and 3 Bedroom, ground oriented, wood-frame townhomes and apartments tucked between Howe Sound and the mountains of the Sea-to-Sky corridor. These homes are spacious and feature the superior quality and smart design you can expect from BlueSky Properties. The location is just steps from the downtown area, but still offers all the amazing outdoor amenities that Squamish is famous for, including trails, parks, climbing and water activities. The site will feature an amazing 17,000 sq.ft. Amenity Centre that will include a pool and fitness facility, lots of exciting retail and services.  Squamish is a short, peaceful drive to both Vancouver and Whistler and offers a unique opportunity for people who want the best of both worlds. Selling now. Don’t miss out!

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Episode Summary


 

Guests:

Dale Bosa — CEO, BlueSky Properties
Daryl Simpson —  EVP, Bosa Family Properties, BlueSky Properties and Bosa Properties

About SEAandSKY Development in Squamish:

Bosa and BlueSky have been working on this project for seven years in partnership with Lorne Segal (of Kingswood Properties). It’s very different for them as a group; it’s been awhile since they’ve done ground-oriented, wood-frame townhomes. It’s 53 acres, with eight kilometres of trails and four acres of parkland on the water in Squamish, located just underneath the Chief Mountain.

The development is a special piece of property. It’s not often you get to master plan this large of a property. Especially being connected to nature, they had to take advantage of the unique opportunity.

The past five years have seen a massive change in Squamish, presumably since the property was acquired.

On why they are so excited about Squamish and this site, particularly:

Squamish was always one of the places you just drove through on the way to Whistler. Over time, you started to see the city develop, new amenities and infrastructure, such as schools, and growth. When you look at the commute time going east to places like Langley and Surrey and compare, the drive to Squamish is just so peaceful. People still look at it as a community that’s far away and a destination but driving up there is so nice.

On the type of users of the properties:

It’s early days—they will build close to 1,000 homes which will house somewhere from 2,000-3,000 people. For now, in the early project stages, it will likely be young families and first-time buyers getting started in real estate ownership. There will also be active empty nesters who don’t need just one floor and are buying for the view, proximity, and serenity in a natural setting. It will ultimately be a rich mosaic of residents.

They have an immense responsibility with this site—the population of Squamish is currently just over 20,000, so with this project alone the population will be increased by 10%, which is quite daunting and something they don’t take lightly.

On the project’s types and sizes of homes:

The most affordable home is about 1,200 square-feet going for the high $600,000’s, and they go up to about 1,800 square-feet for around $900,000. There are various sizes and prices in between. They will build some rental apartments and condos over the life of the project, as well. As they move south toward the water, there will be opportunity for larger residences for, perhaps, more mature people.

On Bosa and BlueSky’s partnership as developers:

They brought forward a unique strategy about a year and a half ago where they identified two markets they wanted to be in. Bosa and BlueSky Properties are under the Bosa family of companies. Bosa is more of an urban, luxury, high-end builder (e.g. in downtown Vancouver and Metrotown, Burnaby), while BlueSky is a more affordable, community builder (e.g. in Squamish and Surrey).

BlueSky is the brand in Squamish, but it draws on generations of experience.

Yes. The family immigrated to Canada in 1958 from Italy and started working with their hands, building and framing homes. They saw the evolution of wood-frame apartments to concrete buildings. There were many brothers and in the early ‘90s, the next generation of the Bosa family was evolving and decided it would be best to form separate companies. Dale’s dad, Robert, started Bosa Construction. Dale and his brother Colin came into the Bosa Properties business and then BlueSky. From around 2008 to now, 2019, they’ve done quite a few projects under both banners.

On completion dates for the project phases:

Phase 1 is mostly sold; there are a handful of homes left of the 88 being built. These will complete early in the new year, when the overpass above the railway is built.

A unique feature of the site is that they’re very close to everything that Squamish has to offer, but also very tucked away. The railway right-of-way, the Mamquam Blind Channel, and the highway separate them from all the great surroundings, but they still have great linkages to these surroundings. The overpass off the highway will come across the railroad tracks and be the new front door into the SEAandSKY development. It will complete early in the new year, when the first families will move in.

Phase 2 has not begun yet—construction will start in the fall; this phase is about 12-15 months away from being completed.

On if the community will be primarily end-users or investors:

It will be primarily an owner-occupier community, but there is investor interest as investors see all the attributes that Bosa and BlueSky see. They will be drawn to the things a homeowner will enjoy about living there. The investor market today (within Metro Vancouver, which Squamish is not officially a part of but effectively is for purposes of real estate trading) isn’t as active as it was a year ago, but there is definitely still interest.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Hello guys!

    Thanks for putting together this great series of interviews with informed individuals. As one of many individuals who grew up in Vancouver and moved away after architecture school during the recession in the mid 90’s to find work in Hong Kong and eventually LA and NYC, this podcast has put me back in touch with the state of Vancouver not only in terms of real estate but also the political and social climate. Keep up the great work!

    Best

    Joseph

    1. Thanks so much, Joseph! Great to hear you are finding the podcast a useful resource. Let us know if there are any topics you would like us to cover! Matt

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