Getting Squamish’s town council to permit a large-scale housing project was an arduous process, according to the developer of Redbridge, a sprawling master-planned community, but the development had one big thing going for it.
“We’re telling the story of a new environment. The intent was to create a community where people could live, work and play, and for many people Squamish is a weekend destination but now, all of a sudden, you can tell a story about where you live rather than where you’re travelling to,” said Lorne Segal, president of Kingswood Properties, Redbridge’s developer. “Squamish is an emerging market and maybe the last frontier, if you look at Vancouver and all of its suburbs where everything has been developed, but Squamish has been so protective of itself, wanting to control growth and manage itself carefully. Redbridge will bring another 1,000 people to Squamish, and I’m excited about the fact that those people will be setting up businesses and things of that nature. Instead of opening a business in Vancouver, where you compete with other similar businesses, why not be the first in Squamish?”
The master-planned community will be composed of 435 condo and townhouse units and it already has 7,000 registrants, bespeaking the robust interest that Squamish elicits in the region. The fact it’s a development that absorbs nature into a placid, healthy lifestyle can’t hurt either, says Segal. The units feature spa-inspired bathrooms, lots of natural light and plush open space, and the amenities span more than 20,000 sq ft. In fact, the amenity package is a microcosm of the master-planned community at large.
“Base camp, our amenity package, caters to the mind, body and soul,” said Segal. “Redbridge is not just a home, it’s a lifestyle; it’s not just about living, it’s about living well. It appeals to the young person who’s into recreation—Squamish has the best hiking, windsurfing, rock climbing and everything involving the outdoors—and to another group of people who are approaching, or are in, their retirement years and who want to start a new chapter of their lives. A healthier one.”
Margarita Zimin and her husband just purchased a unit at Redbridge in large part because her elderly parents will be living with them. That many of her parents’ favourite activities can be enjoyed at Redbridge tilted them towards purchasing a unit.
“I want my parents to live in a good, quality apartment. We brought my parents to the sales centre and they were so excited, with my mom talking about how she can see her future home,” said Zimin, currently a resident of nearby Britannia Beach. “The other reason I’m excited about Redbridge is we need doctors, teachers, technicians and other professionals in Squamish. We’ve had a lack of those professionals and Redbridge will bring in 1,000 people. It will be a win-win situation with the professional services and business owners moving there.”
The condominium section of the master-planned community is intentionally designed to be car-free and rich in (planted) native flora. Its tree-lined residential trail captures the bucolic essence of the development, including on the waterfront walkway, with British Columbia’s regal mountains aloft, perhaps serving as the perfect backdrop to the six-acre site.
“It comes back to telling a story—it’s one thing to do buildings and another to provide the rest of what should come with that so that when you get here, it will feel like you live at the Four Seasons 365 days a year. It’s like resort-style living, but it’s yours.”