Published by City Farmer, Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture

Greater Vancouver Townhouse Development Includes Community Garden Feature

Kew Townhouse Development in Surrey - "Charming Community Garden Plots"

"Kew features a community garden - a place where you can indulge your green thumb."

Kew Gardens

KEW is a collection of 97 three story, 2 bedroom Townhomes located in Surrey, BC.

Site Plan for Kew Gardens as Part of Development

From Vancouver Sun May 5, 2007

NEW HOMES PROJECT PROFILE Couple's Kew home their fifth - and best Green space, proximity to work and builder impress new owners WESTCOAST HOMES Kew buyers Philip and Sandy Tom bought and sold four homes before they bought their Kew townhouse. Now residing in their fifth home, they think they saved the best for last.

"We are very confident in the builder. We feel we made the right choice," says Philip Tom, a utility employee.

It's been unlike any other builder we've ever had. The after- sales service is so impressive, very professional, and the tradesmen and foreman here take a lot of pride in their work."

The trades the couple have brought into their home - an electrician to install their own fixtures and a Best Buy crew to install the surround- sound and security systems - all commented on the solidity of construction evident in Kew, Tom says.

"Even the pizza guy was impressed. He delivers to a lot of townhomes in the area

and said this is different than anything he's seen before. It's like something out of England in the middle of nowhere."

A greenbelt that surrounds the Kew property and big setbacks from 72nd Avenue infuse the site with a sense of peace and quiet, Tom reports.

Visitors to their new home always comment favourably on the entrance way, with its manicured lawn and ornamental shrubs in planters lining the drive, he says.

"It really feels like a small village," says Tom, who likens it to the same feeling he had as a child growing up in Edgemont Village in North Vancouver. "Being so far set back it's extremely quiet. Looking out my window now I can see some Canada geese on the lawn and at night you hear the crickets and frogs."

Tom says he and Sandy, a social worker, especially appreciate the quiet at the end of busy working days.

The Toms' last home was in the Surrey neighbourhood of Newtown. It was 1,700 square feet, 400- square- feet more than their Kew home.

They don't mind the loss of living space because of their Kew home's location, close to their workplaces and to urban conveniences, and because of their new home's interior design.

Kew is near a new mall that is only a 10- minute walk away or a three- minute drive, he says. A grocery, a pharmacy, a coffee shop and a video store are among the tenants.

Their Kew home's high ceilings are the critical contribution to their feeling that they live in a space as great as their previous home. Those ceilings, Tom says, "give the impression this place is enormous."

The Toms have an enviable knowledge of the new home market generally and have visited a couple of projects by Kew's developer, Mosaic.

They might have put in an offer on a Coho townhouse by Mosaic, but for its location, Pitt Meadows. They wanted to be in Surrey, closer to their workplaces. They were too late to buy into Mosaic's first project in Surrey, Nature's Walk. So, when they heard Mosaic would be bringing a second project to market, they were determined not to miss out.

Mosaic's Andrea Camp says the quick Nature's Walk success proved to company executives and managers that Surrey was a great market for the company's signature row houses.

"Now we're back in the city again with Kew Living. The land is available at the right price and is conducive to multi- family living and it has a greenbelt which is difficult to find adjacent desirable land."

The greenbelt covers a gas- line right- a- way. Basically the forestlike setting will never change.

"In what is a busy area it feels quite serene," says Camp.

She says the architect sited the homes to take best advantage of the greenbelt.

"We optimized as many views as possible from the homes and ensured we had short roads that provide vistas onto the greenway where homes do not directly interact with it.

"This also contributed to a community with as much natural light flowing onto the homes as possible," she says.

At the rear of the site are a children's play area and a large "pea patch garden."

Since going on the market after Christmas, Mosaic has sold half of the homes.

Camp says because Mosaic is marketing primarily to the firsttime buyer where money is often tight, many of the extras like stainless steel appliances or stone countertops are upgrades.

The standard is black or white appliances and laminate counters and laminate flooring.

Still, there are nice touches to each townhome like the three- inch wood casings around the windows and the art niches that are built into a focal point wall and the spacious decks and large widows.

"We're very optimistic this will sell quickly. Nature's Walk sold very quickly and some people who weren't able to get in there are following us here," says Camp.

She adds people tend to gravitate to Mosaic's "old world" architectural styles.

"I often explain it as 'an old world, new world' appeal. People love the historical reference to the exterior facades, but equally they like the contemporary, open feel and sophisticated use of the materials they experience entering the home. It really appeals to people on an emotional level," she says.

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May 7, 2007

Published by City Farmer
Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture