'Lock-off suites' infuse Evolv35 with flexibility Evolv 35 - October 21 2017

Source: vancouversun.com

Prices: From $1.3 million
Developer: Guildford Brook Estates
Architect: Scott Kennedy at Cornerstone Architecture
Interior Design: Theresa Yuen at I.D. Lab
Marketing and Sales:  rareEarth Project Marketing
Sales Centre: ‪100 E. 3rd St., North Vancouver (3rd and Lonsdale)
Hours: Previewing by private appointment
Telephone: 604-770-4399
Website: ‪www.evolvedliving.ca
Completion Date: Spring 2019

Michael Bernard
Special to the Vancouver Sun

Evolv35, a new housing project in North Vancouver, comes by its name honestly. Not only is it being built in a newly evolving neighbourhood on the North Shore, it has taken on new energy standards and a flexible approach to design that accommodates the lifestyle cycle that many families are experiencing today.

“We have received a fantastic response so far,” says James Askew, whose firm rareEarth Project Marketing came up with the name and the promotional campaign for the four-bedroom townhomes to be situated in the award-winning master-planned community of Moodyville.

Moodyville, located about half way between the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge and Lonsdale Quay, was one of the first communities to be developed in the 1800s by a sawmill owner named Sewell Moody. It faded into obscurity, largely ignored by motorists on their way to somewhere else, until the city of North Vancouver saw the potential, and decided to think through a master plan for developing more than 1,800 multi-family homes. That plan led to the rezoning of the former neighbourhood of single-family post-war homes that had seen better days. The master plan, which includes a five-acre park and pathways, also garnered the city three awards in the process.

Moodyville has also emerged as a viable alternative for West and North Vancouver families who want to downsize from large single-family homes, but stay on the North Shore, Askew said.

“These are designed as four-bedroom four-bathroom townhomes, something in huge demand on the North Shore. People really want them, particularly row-style homes rather than stacked ones, where you have no one above you and no one below you. And you have your own attached garage, rather than parking underground.”

Many North Shore downsizers have previously looked to Yaletown and the downtown, where prices are much higher, he said. They now have the option of remaining on the north side of the harbour where they raised their families.

The new neighbourhood’s location has proven a hit for other developers, Askew said. He noted the sold-out signs for other projects up and down 3rd Street east and west of Evolv35.

The other demographic that Askew says the contemporary-styled homes appeals to is young families looking to graduate from condominiums without the stress of stretching to buy into an older, single-family home and building a “mortgage helper.’’

There is 1.5-inch concrete flooring separating the residences’ “lock-off suite” from the main home, cutting down on sound transmission.

The city developed the lock-off suite program to encourage developers to build potential rental accommodation by offering them density bonuses. That is providing much-needed rental suites in a community that Askew says has one of the lowest vacancy rates in Canada. He estimated rentals fetch about $3 a square foot in North Vancouver, which translates into $1,800 a month or better for the average lock-off suite at Evolv35.

True to the “Evolv” concept, though, the lock-off suite can be used for other purposes, something that attracted West Vancouverite Blair Peters to look into the project this past week.

“I raised three daughters, two of them in university now, and one of them is at home in Grade 11,” said Peters, who has lived in West Vancouver since 1996 in a single-family home, noting that the lock-off suite would give his family some flexibility if and when the daughters return home.

He says he has also watched as nearby Lower Lonsdale has developed into a “real vibrant community” with an art gallery, the SeaBus, shopping and other amenities.

“The other thing that was really attractive is we have a daughter going to school in the U.S., and she is in fourth year in illustration. There is a real vibrant arts community in Vancouver and we are trying to attract her to come home.

“She really doesn’t want to live under her mother’s and father’s thumb any more. But this has a locked-off suite with its own kitchen. We would love it if she, or another daughter, now at McGill, came home.”

“You could also make it a home office or as a fourth bedroom for guests,” Peters said.

Peters said he is also attracted to the energy saving standards incorporated into the homes, which are designed to reduce energy consumption by up to 90 per cent annually.

Cornerstone Architecture, one of Canada’s leading Passive House designers, has built in several features, including super-insulated exterior walls, high-quality triple-glazed windows, a fresh air ventilation system and airtight qualities that do away with drafts and hot and cold spots.

The homes come with either one- or two-car private garages, and some have expansive rooftop decks. Inside, there is laminate flooring throughout and the kitchen has polished quartz countertops, soft-close cabinets and drawers, and a wall oven and a 30-inch induction cooktop by KitchenAid. Like the wall oven, the microwave is situated at a convenient height. The stainless steel fridge is by Fisher & Paykel.

The bathrooms feature glass bath/shower stalls, 24-by-24-inch porcelain tiles and Kohler hand-shower hardware.

The legal suites have a separate entry for privacy, and are either studios or one-bedrooms depending on the model. They come equipped with KitchenAid fridge and cooktop, a stainless steel dishwasher, a Panasonic microwave speed oven and combination front-loading washer-dryer.


Project location: 312 Moody Ave., North Vancouver

Project scope: 35 four-bedroom townhomes situated in Moodyville, a new, award-winning master-planned community. Homes range from 1,554 to 2,070 sq. ft., with legal suites.  Some models have expansive rooftop decks with city views.  All homes are built to Passive House Canada standards and 2032 energy codes, reducing energy usage by 90 per cent annually. Located close to Lonsdale Quay and Spirit Trail, North Shore Mountains and community amenities