I went to the Maryhill Winery opening this past weekend and they have a lovely tasting room on block 12 next to Twigs Bistro. I noticed the Kirkland project progress as I drove by.
Most of the underground infrastructure and parking are complete and the Kirkland Tower and Hotel Indigo structures are rising above the street now. Generally these types of tallish buildings have a slow start building the ground support and elevator towers before the steel frame rises. Once the base structure is in place things start to move fast. The building goes up fairly quickly from this point.
According to reports from Gramor, the Waterfront developer and Kirkland the block 4 project developer, The 8 story Hotel Indigo will be completed first followed by the 12 story Kirkland Tower. Both will be built simultaneously however.
I am intrigued by both of these projects. The hotel is quite possibly going to be the nicest in town. Built with an interior open atrium design and an El Gaucho location the project is aiming pretty high. They are also putting in a ‘sky lounge’ on the 8th floor. Kirkland Tower is a condo building that will be directly connected to the hotel structure and owners will have access to some of the hotel’s amenities and services. The project will have underground parking shared with the hotel, but also featuring a stackable parking setup which will be unique in Vancouver. This parking arrangement lifts one car up on a rack allowing another to be parked underneath.
The real test is the pricing on the units. Rumors are circulating that the larger units, which are not really going to be that big maybe 1600-1800 SF will be listed in the $4 million plus range. Now to be clear, Vancouver USA has condos that have sold in these upper reaches of pricing, mostly in the Tidewater project to the east. But those are much larger units some with 4000 SF. If Kirkland can get these units sold in that price range, it does bode well for the success of the grand waterfront as a whole.
Some reports show that there are some who are concerned with the high pricing on units so far, and to be fair they have a point, but equally fair is the point that so far the structures going up are right on the water. These are the most premium lots in the project, one should expect higher end uses. As the project builds out to the lots further back off the water, I would estimate that units will start going in with more modest middle-income pricing. Patience is important in these matters.
Part of building a community that is fresh and exciting is luring in some big dollars to boost the local economy and this project is certainly doing that quite well.