1550 Fern Street, North Vancouver, BC
Artist's rendering of Beacon
|Management Company||AWM Alliance|
|Number of Units||200|
|Number of Floors||24|
|Type of Roof||IRMA|
|1550 Fern Street, North Vancouver, BC|
|Distance to Public Transit||Less than a block|
|Title of Land||Strata|
Scheduled for occupancy in 2015, Beacon is the first of three residential towers that will make up North Vancouver’s Seylynn Village development. Billed as part of a new center for urban living on the North Shore, Beacon may not have a background of its own just yet, but the developers at Denna Homes are quick to point out how much North Vancouver’s history in shipping, logging, and timber milling has inspired the building’s overall design.
The town of Moodyville, now North Vancouver’s Moodyville Park, is the oldest non-native settlement on Burrard Inlet. It even predates central Vancouver, itself. In the 1860s, American trader Sewell Moody set up the Moodyville Sawmill. Powered by water, the success of the mill saw the people of North Vancouver able to make their first real foray into the logging industry, as they cut and shipped North Van’s yet untouched forests of Douglas Fir.
Post offices, schools, taverns, and permanent residential developments grew with the sawmill as their anchor. Twenty years later, Arthur Heywood-Lonsdale and James Pemberton Fell made significant investments in the city’s further growth. Moody, Lonsdale, and Pemberton are still weighty names in today’s North Vancouver.
The mountain vistas that have become some of the area’s biggest selling points were initially the cause of its near-bankruptcy. New roads were either blasted through rock, or slalomed around it. Bridges washed out and needed to be rebuilt at an alarming rate – as did the houses and commercial establishments. To save itself, North Vancouver sold most of its land and the separate municipality of West Vancouver was born.
North Vancouver continued to struggle until the construction of Lonsdale Avenue gave residents access to the North Vancouver Ferry Service. This meant a commute to Vancouver’s urban center, and a diversification of industry the likes of which the area had never seen before.
Today, the Lionsgate Bridge and the Ironworkers’ Memorial Bridge crossings allow that same commute, and North Vancouver continues its growth from city suburb to thriving urban hub.
Unlike many new condominium developments in the area, the people at Denna Homes aren't promoting any of the three Seylynn Village towers (Beacon, Compass and Apex) on the basis of their convenient commuting distance into Vancouver’s downtown core. Instead, Beacon and its two sister towers are going up as a next-step “evolution” of North Vancouver proper.
With that in mind, Beacon is minutes away from the area’s commercial center in the Lower Lynn Valley. It’s also practically across the street from several public transit routes that will take travelers over the Ironworkers’ Memorial Bridge to downtown. So, developers have by no means ignored the necessity of that commute.
However, developers also foresee that the size and caliber of Beacon and the Seylynn Village complex will be more than enough to bring top end commercial development to the residents. That, in combination with The Denna Club, a resident-exclusive amenity center projected to be North Vancouver’s largest, is meant to make leaving Seylynn Village a choice rather than a necessity when it comes to finding some fun.
One challenge to the area is the same thing that makes its overall convenience so obvious: the Mountain Highway runs right past the edge of the Seylynn development, and the towers themselves are expected to increase through traffic from 2000 to 3000 cars at peak hours. However, as part of the development package, city works are building an extension which will turn nearby Keith Road into a cul-de-sac and ease the flow of traffic.
Seylynn Village's Beacon building is a 24 story modern concrete high-rise with 200 residential units. Each unit features oversized windows with triple-pane energy efficient glass, and independently controlled central air conditioning. All suites also feature private balconies, and penthouses boast full terraces.
The building is divided into two sections: a four-story podium with one level of two-storey town homes, and two levels of smaller one bedroom apartments comprises a kind of base. The remaining 20 levels make up the main body of the tower.
General contracting was done by the ITC group of companies.
Suites are arranged around a central bank of three high-speed elevators in such a way as to give each suite its own uninterrupted balcony view. This is particularly significant for the upper floors, since Beacon and the other Seylynn towers will, at the time of their completion, be the tallest structures in all of North Vancouver.
Beacon's landscaping - in fact, the landscaping of the entire Seylynn development - is meant to hearken back to the area's roots in timber and shipping. Landscape designers used only native trees, plant life, and stone in the exterior spaces, while interiors are accented in local wood and more "natural" color schemes. The entire structure is topped with a landscaped roof garden.
Layout and Features
Suites at Beacon are available in layouts from one to three bedroom and penthouse units. Select apartments also feature dedicated den or home office spaces. Main living areas are floored in brushed oak laminate, with six-inch baseboards, while bedrooms have sheet carpeting.
Finished in 12" by 24" porcelain tile, bathrooms are either single or master and en-suite. Regardless of apartment size, facilities feature polished chrome fittings, quartz counter tops, soaker tubs and showers with "rain-style" heads.
Kitchens boast stainless steel appliances with glass back splashes. Warm recessed lighting, custom soft-close cabinetry, and floating ceilings complete the design scheme.
On a different note, Beacon's developers and designers have also included 10 "level three" adaptable units for persons requiring an additional degree of accessibility. 70 of the building's 201 suites will also be available on affordable rental plans.
Some of Beacon's unique floor plans. For a more complete selection (podium suites, sub-penthouses, and others) see the reference section at the end of this article.
Amenities at Beacon and the resident-exclusive Denna Club include:
- 25m pool
- Hot tub
- Steam room/Sauna
- Squash court
- Fully equipped fitness centre
- Yoga/Dance studio
- Landscaped roof garden
- Child care facilities
- Bike repair shop and lock-up
- Electric car charging stations
- Car and bike wash facilities
Bylaws are determined by a building's Strata Council. Since Beacon is still under construction, its council hasn't been formed yet. The current developer's disclosure statement indicates that rentals, pets and barbecues will all be permissible and that there are no planned age restrictions.
Check back here as more information becomes available, and construction on Beacon moves forward.
From triple-pane energy efficient glass, to free charging stations for electric cars and common car service for residents, the designers behind Beacon are certainly going the extra mile when it comes to the question of sustainability.
An IRMA roof tops the building, complete with a landscaped garden designed to reduce the heat island effect. Also, most common areas feature motion activated lighting, and all individual suites come equipped with low energy/low flow appliances.
Even the landscaping presents a focus on trees and plants native to the North Shore in an effort to maintain the stability of the local ecosystem. More than that, this method of landscaping serves to carry the naturalness of the surrounding green spaces into and throughout Beacon's residential areas.
"The Bridge Came Tumbling Down"
That's the name of a song by Canadian musical icon, Stompin' Tom Connors.
Stompin' Tom's song is in memory of June 17th 1958, when the then-unfinished Second Narrows Bridge between North Vancouver and the downtown core collapsed. 70 workers plunged into Burrard Inlet, and 19 of them did not come out. Authorities suspected that a number of men were held underwater by the weight of their tool belts. When the Royal Commission investigated the collapse, they discovered it was the result of a miscalculation by engineers. The temporary arm that held the fifth anchor span in place was too light to carry its weight.
In 1994, city officials renamed the bridge. Today, the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing honors the 19 workers who were lost in the water. Many BC engineers still wear forged iron rings to remember both the tragedy and the cost of miscalculations like the one that caused it.
- North Vancouver on Wikipedia
- The Seylynn Village Online
- Beacon Floor Plans
- The Canadian Encyclopedia
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