Sneak peek: 'Lookout' condominiums and townhomes coming soon near Florence Lake on Victoria's West Shore
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
Published October 15, 2021
Langford’s picturesque Florence Lake at the foot of Bear Mountain Resort is the setting for an upcoming lake view condominium and townhome project from developer Aquila Pacific.
Planned as a two-building luxury pre-sale, the 130-suite offering – built to six-storeys along Bear Mountain Parkway and known as The Lookout
– will launch sales this fall with a unit mix of one and two-bedroom condominiums with den options, plus two and three-bedroom ground-oriented townhomes.
The Lookout’s residences feature rich finishings in a sizeable assortment of spacious layouts. And being situated on a rise among tall timbers overlooking Florence Lake, many homes are positioned to take advantage of views towards Mt. Baker and the Olympic Mountain Range of Washington State, the West Shore’s rolling Sooke Hills, and Langford’s urban canopy.
Amenities include an observation deck overlooking the natural surroundings of Florence Lake, a dog wash station, a bicycle maintenance space, a full-size fitness studio, an entertainment area with a full-service kitchen, and a three-acre parkland reserve acting as a forested buffer between The Lookout and Florence Lake.
In terms of community amenities, The Lookout’s location is only minutes from Bear Mountain Resort, known for two of Canada’s most picturesque golf courses with year-round tee times, luxury spa facilities, year-round tennis courts and even ice skating during the Holiday Season. Shopping options are convenient, with flagship stores just a stone’s throw from the project and include Costco, Home Depot, a joint Muse & Merchant/Scan Designs home furnishings warehouse, Save-On-Foods, Best Buy, PetSmart, Micheal’s and Golf Town. Nearby access to the Trans Canada Highway via Bear Mountain Parkway will make trips into Victoria convenient while access to Victoria International Airport and the BC Ferries terminal to Vancouver is efficient via the region’s highway network.
|Aquila Pacific's The Lookout, a 130-residence condominium and townhome project coming soon to Bear Mountain Parkway, is nearing it's pre-sale campaign. Aquila Pacific
Units come inclusive of a parking stall (select floorplans will include two parking stalls), storage space and access to bicycle lockers. Over 70-residences are sized between two-bedroom condominiums with den options and a collection of spacious townhomes.
“Speaking of value, The Lookout will be one of the West Shore’s first condominium and townhome projects developed with the traits and quality of pre-sales typically reserved for Victoria’s core,” says Lewis Ratcliff, PREC*, a Langford-based real-estate agent involved with the project’s pre-sale campaign. “The Langford multi-family market has matured in recent years, and buyer expectations have shifted to where, in many respects, the West Shore is setting regional new home trends, and yet it still represents a smart proposition particularly for larger, in-demand floorplans.”
Since early 2020, the West Shore real-estate market has surged in popularity given the size and quality of its new generation of homes, and the area’s confluence of urban amenities, access to outdoor parks and recreation, and infrastructure networks connecting all points of the south Island via roads, cycling trails and transit. Langford, in particular, rose through the ranks of Victoria’s top pre-sale listings by offering larger homes, with parking, at a time when buyer preferences weighed space and mobility options as premium criteria.
Ratcliff, who specializes in Langford real-estate, says buyers and investors have always recognized the benefits of property ownership on the West Shore, although the last two years have resulted in a significant demand shift that placed high value on new pre-sales most notably in the City of Langford.
“The completion of the McKenzie Trans Canada Highway interchange was largely considered a turning point for the West Shore no longer being perceived as a distant suburban market, when in reality it was always just the lack of an interchange that created highway delays and a perception of distance to communities like Bear Mountain and Langford’s many beautiful neighbourhoods,” Ratcliff said.
“Today, in addition to streamlined highway access, the market has overwhelmingly embraced the West Shore’s competitively priced pre-sales, its larger suites relative to their counterparts in Victoria, and how close major shopping destinations are in addition to the area’s many wilderness trails and lakes, and year-round recreation opportunities. The investor market, especially, is bullish on the area for those reasons.”
|Langford's picturesque Florence Lake is situated beyond a parkland reserve at The Lookout. Aquila Pacific
Demand for new housing in Langford has indeed surged, with the Capital’s high cost of real-estate re-focusing homebuying pursuits from single-family-dwellings averaging $1.2 million to larger condominiums. And with work-at-home a new reality for many, extra square footage is top-of-mind and a trait many buyers are unwilling to compromise on. Similarly, the preference to drive a personal vehicle during COVID-19 impacted the market’s desirability for on-site vehicle parking which is often a standard feature among West Shore new-builds.
The long-term value play for homeowners in the suburbs has also been underpinned by a growing preference to reside in bedroom communities over urban neighbourhoods since the start of the pandemic. Work-at-home opportunities, coupled with lifestyle choices dictating housing location rather than proximity to employment as a driving factor, have weighed heavily in favour of suburban homes, and that trajectory is not expected to wane any time soon.
Sales for The Lookout are anticipated to launch this fall with construction starting in early 2022. Completion is earmarked for 2023.
To learn more about The Lookout, view the project website here
Aquila Pacific, meanwhile, is planning multiple projects in Greater Victoria including three purpose-built rentals
coming soon to Esquimalt’s burgeoning town centre near CFB Esquimalt. C
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