John Ritchie is a long-time property developer who has 24 years of experience developing multi-family residential projects. Earning the reputation of a “hands-on” operator, John has been involved in the design, development and construction of more than 1,000 new homes in British Columbia and Alberta. Choosing to specialize in small to mid-size communities, John feels that this allows him and his team to pay attention to the details and provide his buyers with a more tailored and personalized customer experience. We had the opportunity to catch up with John and ask him a few questions regarding his choice of location for his latest project, Bloom.
Why do you think this area is poised for major growth?
JR- In order for an area around a transit station to grow, there needs to be proper amenities available and a strong community plan. This area has all of the requirements. The City of Coquitlam has adopted a plan that calls for increased density in the Burquitlam area. This means that along Clarke Road and immediately adjacent to the Burquitlam Skytrain Station, there are going to be high-rise condominium buildings and an increase in retail space. Moving away from the station, the housing will be less dense but will still be higher than it is today. This area in particular is poised for growth due to its proximity to downtown Vancouver and its access to transportation, shopping, schools, parks and community amenities.
You’ve successfully built previous developments in this community. Why do you continue to invest here? What do you see?
JR- I see the next Metrotown. At the base of Simon Fraser University, far enough away from a major road so as to be quiet but within easy driving or riding distance, the community of Burquitlam is a hidden gem. I see property values rising, particularly once the Evergreen Line is complete. It is interesting to note that the housing prices along the Cambie Corridor rose slowly until the Canada Line was completed and then spiked. If you were around in the 80’s and 90’s you would have seen the same thing with the Expo Line and the Alex Fraser Bridge. I believe that by buying in this area now, one can take advantage of the whole increase in land values that is going to result from the new Evergreen Line being completed.
If you were a home buyer, why would you buy here?
JR- There are a number of reasons to buy here. My first piece of advice to any buyer is to find a community where they want to live and provided that they can afford it, buy there. This is first and foremost a very nice place to live. It is quiet, but close to everything. It is safe. It is in a neighbourhood. It is convenient. A secondary consideration is that real estate prices in areas that are serviced by rapid transit go up more quickly than areas that are not. As for why here and not somewhere else in Burquitlam, the answer lies in that old cliché about the 3 most important things to think about in real estate: Location, Location and Location. This is the only community on a quiet street. The only community located parkside, and lastly, this is the only community currently in Burquitlam that has no through traffic outside its front door.
Langside Avenue is a quiet cul-de-sac location. Bloom’s future location is on the left.
Across the street is the Evergreen community, also built by Springbank.
Bloom is just a 3 minute walk through the Burquitlam Park to the future Evergreen Line station.