February 06, 2016
Where does one go for the best example of that East Coast Ivy League look? Boston, of course.
“Four (members) of Polygon’s team and myself did make the trip to Boston and Martha’s Vineyard,” says Vancouver architect Keith Hemphill. “Having adopted a collegiate theme for the overall neighbourhood, we felt that it was important to go to the source for inspiration. I believe we were able to distil the flavour of the campus environment into elements that we could translate into desired character for this project.”
Elgin House, a collection of 139 one- and two-bedroom homes in a four-level building, is the latest phase of Polygon’s 413-home master-planned development on 20 acres in South Surrey, appropriately called Harvard Gardens.
The Ivy League-inspired architecture is apparent everywhere on the site. Red brick facades, black wrought-iron rails, shutters and mullioned windows.
The theme is continued with the Rowing Club, a 9,000-square-foot resort-style facility serving as the social and recreational centre of the development.
Hemphill said the site is located on an active intersection that presented some challenges to access.
“After much consideration of how residents would come and go, we found the opportunity to create two new internal streets, which help to organize the neighbourhood and emphasize the collegiate character,” he said.
The project has attracted mainly local buyers, says Goldie Alam, senior vice-president marketing for Polygon Realty LImited.
“The buyers are a real mix of downsizers and first-time buyers, mostly from Surrey, with some from Langley,” she said, adding they are attracted by the lower price point and homes that are slightly smaller than comparable housing in White Rock.
Of the 139 homes, 111 fall into the two-bedroom, two-bathroom category, Alam said. There are also 18 one-bedroom and flex space homes and eight two-bedroom and two-bathroom homes with flex space.
In contrast to the traditional exteriors, the homes’ interiors are distinctly modern with nine-foot ceilings and bright, airy exposures.
The kitchens feature engineered stone countertops with islands or breakfast bars. Flat-panelled cabinetry in high-gloss white or grey is highlighted by sleek polished chrome pulls. Appliances include an 18-cubic foot refrigerator with bottom-mounted freezer and side-by-side French doors, a slide-in gas range with self-cleaning oven, Energy Star-rated dishwasher, and a microwave and hood fan.
The bathroom and ensuites feature imported porcelain tile flooring and high-gloss white or grey cabinetry. Ensuites have stone countertops, dual porcelain undermount sinks in most plans and polished chrome accessories. The second bathrooms have either a walk-in shower stall with glass door or a tub.
Also included is a full-sized front-load washer and dryer, and all homes are wired throughout with high-speed Internet.
Laminate flooring is used for the entry, living room, kitchen and dining area, while the bedrooms feature a white 35-ounce nylon carpeting.
The entry to the great room of the Rowing Club is clad with rich hardwood panelling. Inside, the collegiate theme prevails with an antique rowing scull suspended from the high ceiling. Shared by all residents, the Rowing Club offers several amenities, including a 50-foot swimming pool and whirlpool outdoors, a large gymnasium with 19-foot ceilings and a wood-floor court good for basketball, volleyball or badminton.
Adjacent to the gym is an 800-square-foot fitness room equipped with free weights and cardio machines and a mirrored aerobics area. Elsewhere, there is an HD theatre room with built-in surround sound for screening movies and sporting events, and a crafts room. Other amenities include a billiards and Ping-Pong table, while outside is a landscaped seating area with barbecues.
Also included in Elgin House are two fully furnished one-bedroom suites for guests, a doggie wash station and a resident concierge.
Harvard Gardens also includes a green for bocce, Italian-style bowling, a tai chi and yoga courtyard, an area for residents to cultivate their plot as part of a community garden and a children’s play area.
Elgin House is well situated for recreational amenities, including four golf courses, five elementary and secondary schools, waterfront restaurants and cafes in nearby White Rock, and five easy-to-reach shopping centres.
MARKET CHAT: WINTER 2016