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Sechelt Development - The Wharf Place
05-12-2013, 03:51 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-15-2013, 01:40 PM by Skook.)
#1
Sechelt Development - The Wharf Place
[Image: attachment.php?aid=149]

The Wharf Place, a new 24-unit condo development offering 6 street level commercial units, completed construction and opened for business in April. The developer is not ‘laughing to the bank’ nor ‘laughing to Lund’; in fact, the developer would be lucky to make it as far as Pender Harbour crying all the way. If sales in this unit indicate the state of the condo/townhouse market on the Sunshine Coast, then it is toast.

This development is located on the south side of Wharf Ave at the corner of Wharf and East Porpoise Bay Road. Wharf is a main east-west junction point in Sechelt where it meets with Hwy 101. Turning left onto Wharf enables those heading north up the coast to bypass the downtown area. Heading west on Wharf takes you towards Porpoise Bay. Anyone wanting to head to East Porpoise Bay (Sandy Hook, Tuwanek) must take Wharf and turn right onto E. Porpoise Bay Road. Continuing on Wharf will take you into the developments lining the west side of Porpoise Bay such as The Shores and Seawatch on the Shores.

I always thought of Wharf Ave from its junction with Hwy 101 east to E. Porpoise Bay Road as the industrial area of Sechelt Village. Here you will find building supply centres (Gibsons Building Supplies, Home Building Centre), a Ford car dealership, an auto body shop, gardening centre, the Malaspina Coach Lines bus depot, and so on. As the pictures below show, it is not the most attractive stretch of road in Sechelt.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=150]

These images above are Google streetviews taken in August, 2011. The left image is looking east from the junction with Hwy 101. In the far distance is the Home Hardware Building Centre and at that point Wharf begins to curve to the left as the map below illustrates. The image above on the right shows the future site of The Wharf Place just before Wharf Ave meets with E. Porpoise Bay Road. So, we know that construction did not start until sometime after August, 2011.

The images below show you the exact location of the development and how it is orientated in relation to Wharf Ave, as well as its three floorplans. The ground floor shows the location of the commercial units and illustrates that this area forms a pedestal for the building. Parking for resident and commercial tenants offers both covered (surrounding the pedestal and under the condo floors above) and open air parking (behind the building).

[Image: attachment.php?aid=151]

The second and third floorplans show the condos come in various configurations offering 1bed/1bath at 691sf up to 3bed/2bath at 1467sf. Are there any windowless bedrooms? Nope, they all have either windows or sliding doors onto a balcony. In my humble opinion, I think that overall the layouts of these condos are far more attractive and practical then what you would find at the far more expensive Watermark development down at the pebble beach off Toredo St.

Now, according to the floorplans five commercial units have been sold which I cannot verify and four condo units have sold which I can verify and according to the ‘MLS Sold’ information only two condo units have actually sold - Units 207 and 311. All the other 22 condo units remain unsold despite having been listed since September 14, 2011 - over 600 days ago and counting! You will find this information in the spreadsheet below. I have highlighted the sold information provided by the development website in gold in a separate column and the MLS information is on the right.

Note: in the spreadsheet, L=Listed, S=Sold
[Image: attachment.php?aid=152]

Back at the end of March, Realtor Gary Little’s interactive map showed that prices had been reduced from $20,000 to as much $30,000 on the condo units. That reduction information disappeared sometime in April or at the beginning of May. I regret not writing down those reduced prices so I don’t know if the pricing on the spreadsheet now reflects that lower pricing or if the developer returned to the original pricing for the spring/summer selling period. I have a strong feeling it is the latter. Also, I wonder when you look at this listing info why the developer hasn’t allowed the listings to expire and then re-list to make it appear more up-to-date. All those units are carrying an MLS# beginning with V91. Maybe the developer is too depressed to care anymore.

Really, I can’t begin to imagine what the developer is thinking and feeling right now as this development languishes. If you click on the developer’s name on The Wharf Place website you are taken to his/her website and despite what that website states this appears to be the first and only project undertaken so far. What are the financial implications of this?

[Image: attachment.php?aid=153]

I haven’t checked to see if any of these units are being placed on the rental market - if they have, would they remove them from the MLS listing? You would think so. Maybe it will be an option taken after the summer, but I doubt there are enough renters on the coast to fill even half of this building. As well, I notice on the development website home page it says, “Own from $699/mo*” with the following in the fine print,“*Conditions apply. 25% down payment required. Subject to OAC. Prices subject to change.” Does this mean the developer is willing to carry the mortgage?

There is another significant issue here, too, I think. If you click on 'Partners' on the development website, the financing for this project came via the local Sunshine Coast Credit Union. I wonder how many other development projects it has financed on the SC and how many are in the same dire straits as this one.

Yes, for 'The Wharf Place' and SC RE, it's hurting real bad.

Note: I have discovered some info on the commercial units since this post and it is below in a new post along with an updated spreadsheet.


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Sechelt Development - The Wharf Place - by Skook - 05-12-2013, 03:51 PM

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