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Apcon develops The Hive condos in fast-growing Langley, B.C.

A rendering of The Hive, a two-phased condo project being developed by Apcon Group in the Willoughby neighbourhood of Langley, B.C. (Courtesy Apcon)
A rendering of The Hive, a two-phased condo project being developed by Apcon Group in the Willoughby neighbourhood of Langley, B.C. (Courtesy Apcon)

Much of B.C.'s Lower Mainland is landlocked and therefore unaffordable, but with its expanse of undeveloped space Langley is proving a more affordable option for prospective home buyers in the region.

“Langley offers a great mix of great housing too, but at an affordable price, and we’ve seen the demographic change with a lot of residents moving up from Tri-Cities,” Tejvir Atwal, the managing director of Apcon Group, told RENX Homes.

Apcon Group is developing The Hive in Langley’s popular Willoughby neighbourhood, and with price points between $499,900 and $689,900 in the latest phase, professionals and young families are laying down roots in the growing city.

One reason they’re able to do this is because Langley still offers underdeveloped areas. When Apcon began surveying the area for opportunities in 2017, the terrain looked far different than it does today, with a slew of housing projects of all types coming under development in those intervening years.  

“But before we even bought the property, when we drove out there to see the area., it was a place in transition with acreages of agriculture and then one by one, from one property to the next, it began completely transforming and now it looks more suburban.”

With the 84-unit, six-storey first phase fully occupied, Apcon Group has released the project’s final component, Hive 2, which is comprised of 156 units in a six-storey building.

Atwal said Hive 2 is targeting May 2025 occupancy.

Willoughby a fast-growing area

The 2.5-acre property was initially zoned for only 54 condos and 32 townhouses, but robust housing demand made townhouses less feasible for first-time homebuyers, Atwal said. That paved way for rezoning the property to 240 units to add additional density.

That The Hive is located in Willoughby is certainly no accident. The neighbourhood has more than 6,700 new homes in the development pipeline, with 965 coming to market across six low-rise developments in the past year alone.

With the nearby Willoughby Town Centre, there is a host of amenities and services, including groceries, pharmacies, restaurants and banks, for neighbourhood residents, making it ideal for new development.

The Hive happens to be around a two-minute walk from Willoughby Town Centre.

“The area in general is very, very new, but it’s very urban-centric and has new schools,” Atwal said.

That there are new schools in the area is another reason young families are moving into the Langley neighbourhood. It is fairly common for families to move into desirable catchment areas, and because newer schools are essentially blank canvasses, their reputations are generally quite good.

Langley offers better affordability

But affordability is also not to be underestimated, and with the Metro Vancouver area sporting among Canada’s highest home prices, homebuyers won’t hesitate to move anywhere in region where they can successfully acquire a home.

And, as Atwal noted, Langley has among the best prices per square foot in the Greater Vancouver Area, thanks to still-reasonable land prices.

That is proving crucial in light of persistent economic headwinds like a stubbornly elevated consumer price index and higher interest rate environment.

“There’s resilience in the Willoughby neighbourhood,” Atwal continued. “The township is doing a great job in terms of urban planning and finding which pockets require certain amenities like schools and parks, and they’re committing to that. They’re making sure the housing around all that isn’t overflowing as well.

“They’re making sure they’re contributing to the overall macro level of the housing crisis by making sure there’s enough supply of homes.”

Langley is a township of about 150,000 people, but it anticipates growing by another 50,000 residents by 2040.

Throw in highway connectivity about five minutes away, and all of a sudden commuting anywhere throughout the region makes Langley a strategic growth area in the province of British Columbia.

Langley key growth area for Metro Vancouver

Atwal said Apcon Group’s dealings with the township left the impression that officials understand Langley’s place in Metro Vancouver as one of its key growth areas. He said the township works with developers to explain its official community plan, thereby shortening the overall development process. 

“It just makes it so much easier for developers to understand and the easier it is, their projects are going to move faster because they’re hitting the standards and guidelines,” he said. “It’s a harmonious balance between the (Township) of Langley and the development community.”

The Hive marks Apcon Group’s first development in Langley, but it’s certainly no stranger to the surrounding area. The company has built a name for itself in nearby Surrey, where Atwal grew up and said he knows like the back of his hand. 

Because Apcon Group is fully integrated and handles construction in-house, it has four other active projects, all in Surrey, including Harmony and Havenwood, two townhome projects in the Sullivan neighbourhood; Headwater, a townhouse development in Fraser Heights; and an 11-lot single-family subdivision called Cloverdale.

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