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Sechelt Development - SilverStone
04-24-2013, 01:13 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-24-2013, 01:18 PM by Skook.)
#1
Sechelt Development - SilverStone
[Image: attachment.php?aid=117]

Poor SilverStone. It tried so hard to be taken seriously but has been such an unmitigated disaster for its developer, Greypointe Properties out of Vancouver, that I feel I should at least give it the ‘drop shadow’ treatment out of respect for its efforts.

Greypointe is in good company though. Look at that area just above and to the right of SilverStone on the GE shot; well, that is the Trail Bay Estates development and its appearance doesn’t lie because it’s another white elephant and maybe I’ll give it the ‘Skook Treatment’ next. Oh, so many, and so little time!

The red box on the map above indicates the heart of the Sechelt. Up until 2009, these four corners offered the only traffic lights north of Wilson Creek (at Field Rd) all the way up to ferry terminal at Earl’s Cove. It is here that Hwy 101 takes a zigzag if you are coming up from the south. At those lights, you turn left onto Wharf St. then follow the road as it curves right to become Toredo St. which is Hwy 101 by another name. So, as you can see SliverStone hugs the highway so it was easy to follow its progress over time.

I remember when I first noticed the trees coming down way back in 2006. My thoughts were, “Well, that is going to be one expensive house and property.” Little did I think the developer would be cramming in 30 lots! Okay, two big strikes against SilverStone already. Then the price came out for the waterfront lots - holy crap, what was it now? Ah yes, starting at $699,000. For the privilege of butting up next to the highway, start counting at $349,000.

So, what made this patch so pricey? According to the ‘SilverStone’ website in April, 2007:

Quote:Only thirty families will have the luxury of calling ‘SilverStone at Sechelt’ their home. Morning walks along the beach offer stunning ocean, island and mountain views. An adjacent park provides the perfect destination for a lunchtime picnic. Late afternoon brings a gentle breeze off the Pacific accompanied by spectacular evening sunsets as dusk settles in.

Immersed in a truly west coast landscape of trees, rocks, mountains and water, SliverStone residents will be able to enjoy an oceanfront lifestyle found few places on earth - and establish a family legacy that can be passed down for generations

God, people actually get paid for writing this garbage. So, what do we have here:
  • exclusivity
  • walks along an ankle-breaking beach
  • picnics
  • gentle breezes
  • sunsets
  • trees, rocks, mountains, water
  • and annoying relatives
Hell, you could buy a mobile trailer and park it in the bush up in Egmont and enjoy all that for about $10,000 tops. And, guess what - by the summer of 2007 those prices probably increased by $100,000 because that summer every ‘exclusive’ development upped the ante for the ‘privilege’ of buying in; only it didn’t fly. Nope, all those turkeys couldn’t lift off the ground because the really rich aren’t that stupid. Maybe a few ‘wannabes’ bought into it, but not enough for these overly planned, highly regulated strata projects to survive unscathed.

But, back to the task at hand. Here are a series of GE time lapse shots to show you from above what I was witnessing on the ground.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=118]

In the next post, I will give a few more details about the project, how it was presented in the press at the time and my spreadsheet. That spreadsheet will be interesting.


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04-26-2013, 09:29 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-26-2013, 11:27 AM by Skook.)
#2
RE: Sechelt Development - SilverStone
SilverStone - Part 2

The first SilverStone press mention that I could find on the net is dated September, 2006. This Vancouver Sun piece titled, “Eternally summer: Sechelt - 30 lots above the strait latest sounding of retreat residency on this coast” is very strange (need to scroll down) so I’m not going to quote from it at all; perhaps Greypointe hadn’t firmed up its design concept at that point or it was still waiting for zoning. The Sun piece even had the lot prices wrong.

The December, 2006 edition of Western Canadian Resorts magazine offered a few lines about SilverStone and it listed the correct lot prices: Oceanview from $349,000 and Oceanfront from $699,000.

However, it seems by 2007, it was a go and the old home that had been used as a presentation centre was torn down, the trees were thinned, services put in and the road laid down and paved. Greypointe had picked Sechelt based Wakefield Home Builders as its contractor of choice and Wakefield began to build the first spec home on Lot 10 in late 2007. Here is the site map for the project:

[Image: attachment.php?aid=121]

In my post above, I described this development as being “overly planned” and “highly regulated” and I based my judgment on the project’s ‘Building Design Guidelines’ which would have been given to all buying into the strata. According to the document,

“The purpose of this schedule is to restrict the construction of improvements on the lots so as to enhance and maintain design quality and to ensure that improvements on the lots are compatible with the existing or emerging residential character.” (Italics as presented in document)

Greypointe justifies this Schedule of Restrictions in the document introduction:

Quote:The subject site is arguably the finest development site available with Sechelt or any of its neighbouring communities. In view of the relative scarcity of these lots and the unrestricted access to a priceless beachfront amenity a decision was made to develop the property slowly, in a thoughtful, orderly manner to ensure the property is utilized to its fullest potential. The following building design guidelines registered on the title of each lot will ensure that all owners realize the full potential of their lots, and that each owner can be confident that the actions of all other lot owners will be appropriate and will enhance the enjoyment of the properties for all.

There are six sections to this 32 page document and three appendices:
  • Section 1: Interpretation and Objectives
  • Section 2: General Restrictions
  • Section 3: Detached Single Family Lot Restrictions
  • Section 4: Detached Single Family Dwelling Design Restrictions
  • Section 5: Construction Material Restrictions
  • Section 6: Construction Protocol Restrictions
While most sections applied to those using a builder other than Wakefield, Sections 1 - 3 applied to everyone. For example in Section 3, there are four pages devoted to landscaping and each owner was expected to spend a minimum of $5000 and could only choose from the supplied list of trees, shrubs and ornamental grasses. Here is but one sample edict:

[Image: attachment.php?aid=122]

I’ve devoted time to this document because it boggles my mind and because I know of other such regulated strata developments that failed on the coast; I wonder if this could be one of the reasons for their failure. There is no doubt the timing of these projects couldn’t have been worse, but I just can’t fathom why anyone would want to buy into a development that limited your freedom on your property to such an extent. I guess I just can't appreciate 'group think' and being told what to do especially at those prices.

Wakefield would go on to build another spec home on Lot 27 and a commissioned home on Lot 19. Exterior and interior images of all three homes can be viewed on this Wakefield webpage.

Lot 10 (6001) - last row, 1st house
Lot 27 (6085) - last row, 2nd house
Lot 19 (6045) - 2nd row, 1st house

The completed vision of the development was presented in the following Globe & Mail article:

Quote:Family builders intend to maintain close ties
Thomasina Barnes
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Last updated Saturday, Mar. 14 2009, 1:38 AM EDT

Greypointe Properties has teamed up with Wakefield Homes for the sale of 30 freehold ocean-view lots at their SilverStone development in Sechelt, with the aim of taking the hassle out of vacation home shopping. While SilverStone purchasers are free to construct their home with a builder of their own choice, Greypointe Properties has chosen Wakefield Homes to help make the construction process as easy as possible.

"Buying a SilverStone home through us takes a lot of the complication out of the process as we manage timelines and budgets but still deliver the high-end result of a custom home," says Davy Sangara, the president of Greypointe Properties. "For clients out of the area, the advantage is huge because it is very difficult to manage the process from afar," he adds. However, Mr. Sangara has no interest in compromising quality for ease. "We have been creating relationships on the Sunshine Coast for over three decades and finally have found an organization, namely Wakefield Homebuilders, that shares our vision for responsible development and also meets our expectations for high-quality construction," he says. Wakefield Homebuilders are known for their Wakefield Beach development and its innovative 'Deep Green' design.

The Sangara family has owned the land at SilverStone for over 30 years and hopes to build a home of their own on one of the lots, so they have a very personal motivation in keeping construction to the highest standards and highlighting environmental considerations, says Mr. Sangara. "We wanted every home to have a view of, and access to, the water and to respect and be integrated with its setting," he says. The first Wakefield Home at SilverStone is now under construction. The homes will blend West Coast with modern styling. Large windows will accent the views. In keeping with its environmental theme, all purchasers have the option of geothermal heating.

SILVERSTONE AT SECHELT
DEVELOPER: Greypointe Properties
BUILDER: Wakefield Homebuilders/Greypointe Properties
PRICE: $1,400,000 to $1,900,000 (home and lot)
SIZE: Lots range from 7,501 sq. ft. to 10,856 sq. ft.

As I mentioned in the post above, this development has been disaster when compared to its original concept - a concept that first involved Sotheby’s International Canada Realty which said, "it was pleased to partner … because SliverStone in Sechelt is truly a unique and rare legacy development opportunity.” By August, 2008, Prudential Sussex Realty was on board - enough said. To date, it appears that only 11 homes have been built in the 30-lot site (via RE sold info and phone 411.ca listings that appeared during various searches).

Here is my spreadsheet on SiverStone at Sechelt (L=Listed, S=Sold, LT=Lot, H=Home, OR=Owner Resale).

[Image: attachment.php?aid=123]

Note:
In Dec, 2006, oceanview lots (#1-9) started at $349,000, oceanfront lots (#10-30) started at $699,000
By Mar., 2009, the Globe & Mail reports price for a home & lot package as $1,400,000 to $1,900,000.

Lots 4, 8, 9 were bought by developers who build homes and put them on the market.
Lot 10 - spec home originally listed at $1,395,000 - it’s possible the list price may have dropped to $1,250,000 by time of sale. It is highly likely it went for above $1,100,000 given the price paid for the spec home on Lot 27.


I managed to jot down a few 2012 Assessments for this project before my source site updated to the 2013 Assessments. So, I have created a small table noting what is happening to the assessed value of these lots and homes in SilverStone. I've also included some APP (Asking Price Premium) figures to show that Greypointe is willing to take a hit to move the lots listed this past February.

Those trying to flog their oceanfront lots (OR-L) purchased at premium prices - well, all the best.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=124]

The list price of Lot 30 (6101) has dropped at least $330,000 since 2007.


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09-10-2013, 11:06 AM,
#3
RE: Sechelt Development - SilverStone
September 10 2013 Update

With this end of summer update, there is only 1 item to report. The owner of waterfront Lot 18 - 6041 Silverstone Lane has dropped the listing and decided to leave the property in his/her will for future generations because it ain't never gonna sell at that price ($739,000) - its obvious the owner refuses to admit it wasn't a winning investment, lower the price and take the hit.

The developer's nine listed lots remain unsold and there has been no further price drops. I think Greypointe has lost interest now that it is has found more exciting things to do on the Sivlerstone Uplands - like cut down trees, prep 31 new lots and lay asphalt. No doubt, it'll be another winner for Greypointe.

I will get back to and finish that West Sechelt Infill Area No 1 thread soon.
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10-07-2013, 09:29 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-08-2013, 03:46 PM by Skook.)
#4
RE: Sechelt Development - SilverStone
October 7, 2013 Update:

This is a quick update. The developer’s listed lots (9) remain unsold and are now at 235 - 237 DOM. As I mentioned in the update above, one Owner Listing was removed (Lot 18 - 6041) and the other Owner Listing (Lot 17 -6035) remains unsold and is now at 310 DOM.

What is new is that Lot 6 - 6014 Silverstone Lane which sold January 19, 2013 for $225,000 (at a loss to the seller) was put back on the market seven days ago (Oct 1st) with a list price of $239,000. So the developer has 9 lots that have never sold and Lot 6 is going for its second owner flip. This is a real positive sign.

I wonder what happened here. Was it bought by a builder who later said to himself, “What was I thinking? I must be nuts!” or was the buyer unable to arrange a HELOC to build his dream home by the sea?

Here is an updated spreadsheet for Silverstone:

[Image: attachment.php?aid=479]


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