Posted: April 27, 2012 By: Chin Chin
Micro-lofts vs. Commuting
Many of us are looking towards modest living in order to live affordably in Canada’s most expensive city. Vancouver’s streets were once paraded with monster-sized SUVs and Hummers, only to be scorned at during the economic downfall, and replaced with Zip Cars, Smart Cars and Scooters. The mantra “bigger is better” is becoming outdated, as minimalism is becoming a preferred and morale lifestyle. A parallel may be seen with our housing market as expansive penthouses and titan homes have lost the spotlight to Vancouver’s newest innovation: the micro-loft. It seems that a solution is more desirable than what seems as an unattainable dream.
Century old 18 W Hastings Street has been converted to a rental “micro-loft” which offers 270 sq.ft. Bachelor suites that are estimated to received approximately $850 a month for rent. The building went from ‘vacant’ to ‘occupied’ in no time, and the waitlist continues to grow. Located in the historic Burn’s Block Building, which was once dubbed as Vancouver’s worse Single Resident Occupancy building, the project is a refreshing 30 rental unit renovation that represents the collective aspirations for generating viable rental units and addressing the widening vacuum for affordable housing within the city; this is what we call eco-density, set forth by the City of Vancouver, Bruce Carscadden Architect and Reliance Holdings Ltd.
What an appropriate time to bellow that ‘good things (like saving some big bucks) come in small packages.’ However, micro-living certainly isn’t for everyone such as couples and growing families; so what are the other solutions if you don’t wish to downsize to living in a chic condoesque walk-in-closet?
Vancouverites are fortunate to be connected to neighboring cities by the Expo Line or West Coast Express that transports residents from cities such as Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam and Surrey within 15 minutes. This is clearly a preferred solution to affording Vancouver-living as Surrey has seen more new residents than any other city in British Columbia in the past 5 years. Currently the fastest growing city, Surrey has grown by 18.6% hosting 73,275 new residents since 2006. In the same time period, Vancouver saw about 25,000 new residents (Source). The city has rapidly responded in accommodating this vast growth as recreation, transportation, schools, and police services have developed into making each community within Surrey a vital party of a truly livable, modern city, City of Surrey. To be a minimalist or a commuter? That is the question. What works best for you?