Despite the challenges of Metro Vancouver’s real estate market, including a high barrier to entry, especially for first-time homeowners, there are some diamonds in the rough. Properties like River District Vancouver and SOLO District are bringing more density and amenities to the Lower Mainland. This potentially makes them and the areas in which they’re built fantastic investments, while at the same time more affordable for residents. Master-planned communities such as these are great examples of how this density can look. The higher density and more options being offered, the more affordable Metro Vancouver can become.
As the River District Vancouver highlights, it:
- Is located on the Fraser River waterfront in South Vancouver – a great example of densification, as the area is mostly single-family homes.
- Is centrally located in the Lower Mainland and well-connected to transit, including SkyTrain and Canada Line stations.
- Will house over 15,000 people in 7,000 suites, which is bigger than Yaletown.
- Will contain 7.2 million square feet of living space and 250,000 square feet of retail space, situated on 130 acres.
- Offers many amenities, including a farmers’ market, community centre, and plaza with shops and eateries.
SOLO District is located in North Burnaby – another area of lower-density, single-family homes – across from the Brentwood SkyTrain station and shopping centre. SOLO is one of the largest master-planned communities in the Lower Mainland, with:
- Four towers of over 1,400 new homes.
- A wellness centre and over 5,000 square feet of amenity space.
- Burnaby’s highest rooftop patio at 55 storeys tall.
- 80,000 square feet of shops including Whole Foods, along with many restaurants nearby.
For residents, some of the key benefits of living in a master-planned community include an optimal mix of homes, businesses, and parks; good traffic flow and easy walkability; a host of amenities like fitness centres and pools; and greenspace. For investors, a key advantage is the standard set by the strata that residents must abide by, which keeps the community and homes in optimal condition. [Master-planned] homes retain their value, and have shown to be historically less impacted during recession periods than other types of homes. The cohesive architecture, proximity to amenities, and planning of the overall community all contribute to a home’s value.
So, with benefits like these to both end-users and investors, large, master planned communities like River District and SOLO could be great options. We can hope to continue to see more master-planned communities like these, as Metro Vancouver grows and densification increases.