When it comes to buying a new home, location is key. People want to be near familiar neighbourhoods, close to friends and family, or live within a catchment of a particular school district. And the location needs to have easy access to everyday essentials such as grocery stores and eateries. This is why master planned communities have such an appeal to families. “The growth of master-planned communities continues to attract buyers of all ages throughout Metro Vancouver as builders are creating master-planned communities to accommodate the exploding demand for live, work, play.” Says Michelle Hopkins from Next Home Magazine.
Jag Sundhu, a communications coordinator at the City of Vancouver explains what a master planned community is: “Before construction begins, the town is carefully mapped out by planners who want to shape the look, feel, and future of the community,” says Sandhu, adding that he believes the terminology was coined in the construction industry. “The community may have a specific purpose, or it may simply be an attempt at developing sensibly.”
Sites like Yaletown, Olympic Village, Newport Village, Brentwood Mall area are proven success stories to a master planned developments. And many more are in the making including Wesgroup’s 130-acre site along the banks of the Fraser River in Vancouver, called River District.
A Master Planned Community in the Making
Today, comprising of over 1500 residents, River District’s growth plans include a total of 7.2 million square feet of living space dedicated to residents and 25 acres of green space that’s well worth exploring, plus upcoming daycares, sports fields and schools.
There will also be 250,000 square feet of the area dedicated to retail space. Currently, Romer’s Burgers, Everything Wine, TD Bank and Westminster Savings are open to serve the community. And a new restaurant is planned to open this year along with the imminent opening of a new Starbucks Reserve location, plus a soon to arrive Save-On-Foods.
The River District community sees an average of 3,500 visitors per day during the week, and 2,000 on the weekend with free fitness classes, parent/child drop in sessions and other ongoing events and more investments are being made to host larger seasonal events on site, like the latest Golden Egg Hunt just this past Easter which saw over 2000 people enjoy a free family fun day.
The masterplan is a vision by local developer Wesgroup Properties – one of Western Canada’s largest private real estate organizations with over 50 years experience. “We are really proud of the River District community and how much it brings to that area.”, says Beau Jarvis, Senior VP of Development at Wesgroup “and we know that when River District is completed, it’s going to be an utterly amazing place to live.”