Renx Homes News Canada (RENXHOMES)
c/o Squall Inc.
P.O. Box 1484, Stn. B
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5P6
Canada: 1-855-569-6300

Darwin's Weston Place condos break new ground for Vancouver developer

8-storey, 57-suite West Van. project will be its first condominium development

A rendering of Weston Place. (Courtesy Darwin Properties)

The Weston Place condominium development is a complete change of pace for Darwin Properties both in terms of where it builds and the types of housing it develops.

The Vancouver-based general contractor and developer is a relative newcomer to housing development and land acquisitions and had been focusing on building rental housing on Vancouver’s North Shore, according to president Jason Turcotte.

But Weston Place will be a multifamily condo in West Vancouver, where he said there is “significant interest” among buyers for new condominiums. It “just made sense” as a premium offering in a premium location, Turcotte said in an interview with RENX Homes.

It will be Darwin’s first development in the area, though the firm has served as a general contractor for other companies’ developments in West Vancouver.

“The ability to acquire a multifamily site in a location like this is rare; there’s not been a lot of activity in new condominiums for that reason,” Turcotte said. “That’s part of the appeal from our perspective, is the rarity of the offering.”

About Weston Place

Weston Place is a 57-unit, eight-storey concrete project located at 2195 Gordon Ave. at the crossroads of Ambleside and Dundarave in a community with a mix of single- and multifamily buildings.

The property was acquired by Darwin from the District of West Vancouver, which had offered two side-by-side properties for sale. Darwin joined with Kiwanis North Shore Housing Society, a seniors-focused housing firm, with Darwin acquiring the condo piece (Weston Place) and Kiwanis acquiring and constructing a family rental component north of Weston Place.

“Since then, we’ve really gone on our own path as far as designing and getting the projects approved and the start of construction,” Turcotte said.

Darwin has a partner in the venture. Citimark, a Richmond-based builder and developer with an existing relationship with Darwin, was invited to join the development and was sold on its merits.

Darwin and Citimark have an existing relationship which started with Darwin working as its general contractor. That has evolved into a partnership involving three current projects.

It was an “obvious fit” for Darwin to partner with Citimark on Weston Place, Turcotte said.

The flat, walkable communities of West Vancouver drew Darwin to the area, and align with the needs of the residents Darwin has in mind for Weston Place.

Many interested clients are from West or North Vancouver, living in single-family homes and have reached the age when they are “ready to say goodbye to the maintenance and obligation of owning a single-family home, looking to retire . . . or have retired and travel more.”

The condos will range from one-bedroom units in the 850-square-foot range up to three-bedroom units in the 1,400-square-foot range, with penthouse suites to 2,100 square feet.

Pricing has not been determined. Turcotte estimates units will be priced in the low $1 million range up to over $4 million for the penthouses.

Construction is expected to start in mid 2024 and take approximately two and a half years. Turcotte anticipates move-in to start in late 2026 to early 2027.

Darwin plans to launch sales for Weston Place soon, and has opened its presentation centre so prospective residents can preview a display kitchen and a suite.

Adjacent amenities

Its close proximity to the West Vancouver Recreation Centre allows Darwin to take a modest approach to in-building amenities, with the centre offering swimming pools, tennis courts and fitness.

“You got everything across the street. So, what we did is take the approach of, ‘How can we complement that?’” Turcotte said.

A multipurpose room built like a library or den will be designed for social gatherings or quiet reading. An outdoors terrace and a rooftop containing fire pits and BBQs are also planned.

The four penthouse units will have private rooftop amenities like hot tubs and rooftop kitchens.

Darwin’s pipeline

Beyond its home base in Vancouver’s North Shore, Darwin is exploring expansion into other areas like Squamish (“an interesting market”) and Burnaby.

One of its projects is 1310 Monashee Dr., a market rental housing redevelopment north of Capilano University, designed for students, staff and faculty of the university. Darwin plans 315 units from studios to three-bedroom housing.

Darwin is developing Lonsdale Ave., an 812,000-square-foot retail and residential project. Darwin will partner with Minto Properties on a Phase I purpose-built rental building offering 113 apartments from one to three bedrooms.

Seniors living is a target market for that project, which expected to hold over 800 housing units and a seniors community care facility in partnership with Sunrise Senior Living.

A 46-acre parcel of land called the Statləw̓ District in North Vancouver is slated for development to begin in 2024. This is to be a multi-phased, mixed-use master-planned community with rentals, condos and retail options.

As a primarily rental developer, Turcotte said the federal government’s tax break on rental housing does not change its strategy, but helps move its project pipeline forward. Some of its projects, such as the Capilano University rental housing project, were previously not viable due to escalating construction costs and the high cost of borrowing.

Industry Events