Community Spotlight: Parkview at Vancouvercenter

Today I’d light to start a series about the various urban condominium developments in the area. Each with their own distinctive styles and niche in Vancouver’s small yet rather eclectic collection of city condos. Before I do that, a little news: activity picked up this week as expected with the holidays now firmly in the rear view mirror. Inventory remains about as tight as it was leading up to the end of 2022. The coffee poll continues to gather votes and Kafiex on the Waterfront and Relevant in Uptown remain the favs.

OK, Parkview at Vancouvercenter. Here we go. First, what is it? Parkview is one of four towers at the two square block Vancouvercenter. The first three towers were completed in 2003-04 with two mid rise buildings facing Esther Short Park and a high-rise mixed use office and condos facing Washington Street. The fourth tower was originally planned as a nine story office building but that plan faded away in the recession of 2009-2012. It was reborn as a seven story apartment tower and completed in 2020.

Parkview is a seven story condominium project that offers arguably the best ‘value proposition’ in the city. Half of the roughly 120 units face Esther Short Park. This is widely regarded as the oldest public space in the Pacific Northwest and has been a focal point for Vancouver for 170 years. These days there are events during the spring, summer, and fall every weekend and even during the week. Concerts, festivals, and one of the best farmer’s markets in the region along with concerts and activities make Parkview an ideal location for active living.

Under Construction Photo from RH Construction

Despite Parkview’s short height and low floor count at just seven, the project is entirely type one construction. This is more than just a technical fact. Type I construction utilizes all steel and concrete rather than combustable wood frame. Most 6-7 story buildings these days use a Type III wood frame over a 1-3 story type I podium. When living in a type I construction tower, you should save money on fire insurance and enjoy personal peace of mind as the resistance to fire is much better in these types of buildings. Residents will also notice that there is less detectable noise coming from neighbors as the walls and floors are typically concrete and steel framed.

The amenities at Parkview are somewhat limited. Residents can gain access to the fitness center in Vancouvercenter 3 and can have access to a secure underground garage for an additional monthly fee. What makes this a “value” is the mere fact that condos in this building still sell for less than $400,000. The secret is simple, most of the units are smallish in size with typical two bedroom two bath homes having 820-870 square feet. The idea of a park facing unit priced well under the median is hard to wrap my head around, yet there they are. Parkview also offers a selection of hard to find studio condos ranging in size from 380-450 SF and priced in the $200’s when they come up for sale. There are also a handful of larger units with 2-3 beds and a little over 1000 SF.

Parkview is a tale of two sides. The west facing units as previously mentioned face Esther Short Park offering permanent views and a lovely four square block city park. The east side units all face a narrow plaza and nearby tallish structures that limit views. It can be a bit dark on this side of the building as light has trouble filtering in. Units facing east however tend to be priced better so that is a plus. Another quirk is that there are basically three different setups as you rise up in the tower. The first floor features street facing units that have traditional stoops and direct access to the street. These have special zoning allowing small businesses to operate out of them via the street side access. Floors two and three have larger patio/balconies and they are covered. They also are completely outside the building so no interior space is lost. Floors four through seven have the balcony/patios partially inside the walls taking up some interior space. They are also not covered.

Parking is the primary downside as there are no deeded spaces for Parkview residents. The third level in the underground garage has spaces guaranteed for monthly pass holders but it is first come first served as far as which space you get. Other spaces in the 800 spot garage are open to the public. Parkview is ideal for a limited or no auto lifestyle.

A very nice upside to Parkview is the fact that heating and cooling are included in the HOA fee. The building utilizes a structural HVAC system so utility costs are lower. In my experience the heating works great the cooling is adequate for most but those that like frost to form on their hair on a hot day might be less enthused about it.

The location is hard to beat. Not only does it front the park, it is also in the heart of Downtown with hundreds of restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, and shops all within a few short blocks walk. Vancouver’s shiny new Waterfront is also just a few short blocks away.

Pros and Cons to Parkview:

Free HVACHVAC system is adequate but not excellent
Off street parking availableOff street parking limited and requires extra expense
Excellent locationBusy neighborhood tends to be a tad noisy
Type I construction, quiet and fire resistantNo cons
Excellent pricingUnits are smallish, and some have odd floor plans
View opportunitiesEast facing units a little gloomy
Patios/balconiesFloors 4-7 balconies impede on living space

So there is the first neighborhood spotlight. I intend to look at all the urban developments over the rest of the year. Leave a comment if you would like to see a specific condo development covered next.

One thought on “Community Spotlight: Parkview at Vancouvercenter

  1. Pingback: Community Spotlight: Viewpoint at Vancouvercenter – Urban Living in the 'Couv'

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