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50 people camp outside Lougheed Town Centre for 4 days before condo sale (PHOTOS)

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Kenneth Chan Nov 30, 2016 8:11 am 25,269

Despite the recent slowdown in residential sales in Metro Vancouver, demand remains high for housing.

Don’t believe us? Just check out the lineups that have formed outside of a condo presentation centre at a suburban shopping mall.

Yesterday evening, as many as 50 people were seen lining up outside the presentation centre for The City of Lougheed, the first of many phases for the redevelopment of Lougheed Town Centre shopping mall by local developer Shape Properties.

But this was already the second day of the line as the first people began arriving at 11 am on Monday morning, prepared with tents, fold-up chairs, and sleeping bags for the long and cold wait.

Chairs set up for all the people helping to line up. #cityoflougheed #burnaby

A photo posted by Kelvin Luk (@kelvinluk6) on

The sale for the project’s first condos begins this Saturday at 10 am, with prices starting at $329,900 for a one bedroom suite roughly 520 square feet in size. Over 500 units within a 55-storey tower will be made available in this first sale phase.

A realtor who spoke to Daily Hive on the condition of anonymity said the developer had also placed hundreds of their own chairs outside in anticipation of a long line of keen prospective buyers, but he thinks there is a better way of doing things.

“I just felt that there’s a better way to do this rather than have people sleep outside for five nights out of a humanitarian perspective,” he said.

“I don’t think anyone in line, and I’ve talked to quite a few people, nobody is thrilled that they have to sleep in the rain.”

He adds that some realtors will even pay students to stand in line for them, but for the most part the line is comprised of general buyers who have no other choice than to sit outside.

Some other developers in the region have adopted an email-in system based on everyone who has visited the presentation centre and expressed their interest. The sales team will ask all prospective buyers to email their top five suite selections, and they will be informed of whether they received their top selections within a few days. Alternatively, prospective buyers might be offered something similar that they wanted.

“There are other ways of doing pre-sales, other developers have used other methods to handle this process,” he said. “There’s no perfect way of doing it, you’re bound to upset someone.”

The opening of the new 11-km SkyTrain extension encompassing six new stations is expected to be a catalyst for redevelopment along the Tri Cities corridor.

At Lougheed Town Centre, the redevelopment of the namesake shopping mall will include 350 shops and restaurants and 30 new towers over the next 30 years. There are also between 12 and 15 towers proposed for the area beyond what Shape Properties has planned.

A summer sales phase for Shape Properties’ The Amazing Brentwood, the redevelopment of Brentwood Town Centre a few stations west on SkyTrain, saw a four-day lineup.

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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