VANCOUVER SUN: INNOVATIVE LAYOUTS ON OFFER AT TAMARACK IN COQUITLAM

It's not always easy to transition from living in a house to living in an apartment. However, Polygon is trying to make the changeover go more smoothly at its Tamarack project by designing one floor plan specifically with empty nesters in mind.

On a recent tour, Ralph Archibald, Senior Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for Polygon, highlighted the features of the "Elm" homes. The two-bedroom suites offer very much the feel of a single-family house, starting right at the front door. The entryway is slanted off on a 45-degree angle, allowing for a gentle progression into the home itself. It's definitely noticeable when compared to the completely open-concept designs currently dominant in condo living.

The angle of the hallway partly obscures the visual sight line to the secondary bedroom, which could either be used as an office, or a guest bedroom for visiting friends or grandchildren.

However, it is in the kitchen where the resemblance to a single house is most apparent.

"The kitchen is something that empty nesters are really going to notice. It's physically separated off from the rest of the home, and has a pantry and an eating nook," Archibald said. The work areas are located in a U-shape out of sight.

Having the kitchen appliances and countertops in a spot where they can't be seen from the living room is handy while entertaining.

"People who buy this home may live in 3,000-square-foot houses currently, but they pretty much only use the bedrooms, the kitchen, and the living space - about 1,200 square feet in total," he says.

"They won't notice that much difference when they transition to this."

The angled hallway also allows for an interesting modification in the ensuite bathroom for the master bedroom; it creates a little hollow where the tub can be tucked away, making the bathroom feel much larger than it actually is.

Archibald said Polygon strives to deliver significant value to purchasers. That includes natural stone countertops, stainless steel appliances, and built in alarm systems for ground level suites.

"This is the last chance to get into the master planned community of Dayanee Springs, right at the base of Westwood Plateau."

Families with young children are expressing interest in some of the smaller two-bedroom homes at the development. It helps that three schools - including the extremely well regarded Pinetree secondary - are a mere stone's throw away.

Buyers in Tamarack get membership to the Timbers Club, a private clubhouse built specifically for residents. The facility contains more than 7,500 square feet of amenities, including a swimming pool and spa, fitness centre, and indoor hockey room.

Entertainment needs are covered by a games room, a billiards lounge, and movie theatre. Visitors suites are available for guests.

Views from the project look north to Burke Mountain, eastward to Mount Baker and, to the south, Town Centre Park.

The park itself is just minutes away, and has most of the wish list of an outdoor enthusiast. Areas are set aside for organized sports like baseball, soccer, and track and field. In another portion of the park, there are courts for beach volleyball, tennis, and basketball, and spots for roller hockey, skateboarding, and a bike park. Families can head to the picnic area or take advantage of the spray park in the summer. Those who want to dive a little more into nature can fish at Lafarge Lake, or trek around on the trails.

"Coquitlam Town Centre has these urban amenities, like the huge shopping mall, but it's also within just a short drive to hiking or biking," Archibald said.

"Buntzen Lake, Eagle Mountain, and Indian Arm Provincial Park are all right here. It's very similar to North Vancouver with mountains and big trees. I tell people it's the perfect mix for the urban and less urban people within a family."

Archibald said interest in this area of Coquitlam has been high ever since the confirmation the Evergreen rapid transit line would be moving ahead. There will be a station at the Douglas College campus in Coquitlam, which is a seven-minute walk away from Tamarack. For now, commuters can drive to the West Coast Express station in less than 10 minutes.

While some purchasers are arriving from Westwood Plateau, or the Heritage Mountain neighbourhood, the accessibility of the commute is drawing potential purchasers in from around the Lower Mainland.

"People are realizing how much further their dollars go here, as compared to Burnaby or Richmond," Archibald said.

"For the equivalent price, you would only be able to get a one-bedroom apartment in Metrotown."

He's betting that savvy buyers - especially those who have been in the market for a long time - will see the advantages of living at Tamarack.

Source: Vancouver Sun