Encore

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235 West 4th Street, North Vancouver, BC

Encore
Encore-VAN-Exterior.jpg

Encore as seen from West 4th Street
Building Information
Developer Intrawest
Management Company C&C Property Management
Number of Units 34
Number of Floors 3
Year Built 1981
Construction Method Wood Frame
Type of Roof Torch-on
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235 West 4th Street, North Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region Vancouver
Municipality North Vancouver
Zoning RM-1
Title of Land Freehold Strata



Contents

Background

The Encore is a residential condominium building located in North Vancouver's Lower Lonsdale neighbourhood. Originally built in 1981 by Intrawest, it was first known as the "Highgate".

The entrance from a quiet neigbourhood

Intrawest, like many other developers of the era had the misfortune to be completing this project right as interest rates were hitting all-time highs of 21%. Owing to this fact, Intrawest was unable to sell any of the recently completed units for a profit and opted to hold on to the building instead.

So despite being built as a condominium and not as a rental building, Intrawest continued to own all 34 units and utilized the entire building as a rental property for the next 25 years.

In 2006, local investors finally purchased all of the suites from Intrawest, which by now required extensive renovations to update them to current market trends. The property was substantially rebuilt by general contractor PCM Pomeroy in 2007. Since the re-build, it has been re-branded as "Encore".

Location

Seabus terminal and Lonsdale Quay

The Encore is located two blocks West of Lonsdale, and one block North of Lower Lonsdale's main east-west artery, Third Street. It's immediate next door neighbour to the east is North Vancouver's Presentation House and Museum & Archives. The Mission Indian Reserve is located one block to the West. Additionally, the John Braithwaite Community Centre is on 1st Street featuring fitness facilities, meeting rooms, and drop-in sports activities.

The John Braithwaite Community Centre

From this location, the local Seabus to Vancouver's downtown core is less then a ten minutes walk away. The Lower Lonsdale neighbourhood Encore belongs to features a whole litany of local eateries, restaurants, bars and local shopping - including Lonsdale Quay, which features a farmer's market in the summer months and the promenade at the Pier which features night markets throughout the summer and a Christmas market during winter as well.[1]

Once known as a tough, working-class neighbourhood, Lower Lonsdale had for years been home to many of the community's local shipbuilders, fishermen and stevedores who worked in the various maritime industries that dotted both sides of Burrard Inlet.

Over time, these industries fell by the wayside while simultaneously, demand for Lower Lonsdale as a suburban bedroom community complementing Vancouver's downtown core was increasing given its close proximity to downtown by Seabus.

Two of North Vancouver's most gritty and infamous drinking establishments, the Olympic and the St. Alice, were closed by the late 1980s giving way to brand new condominium high-rises. Following these seminal events were a continued in-pouring of new condominiums and the many boutiques and shops that followed. One might say that Encore, known by its previous name as the Highgate, was ahead of its time.

Construction

Encore-VAN-Marquis.jpg

Originally built in 1981 by Intrawest, the first building was built on a concrete perimeter as a wood-frame three-story low-rise, with stucco exterior walls and and a tar and gravel roof. Beneath the building is a level of parking and at its core is the elevator shaft containing the building's one hydraulic elevator. The building was designed to include purely cosmetic awnings and sloped roofs which are accented in asphalt shingle.

When PCM Pomeroy began the re-build of the building, they completely stripped off the exterior stucco and with the exterior cladding removed, took the opportunity to install a rainscreen into the building. The building was subsequently re-clad with HardiePlank and HardieShingle to help it retain its west coast contemporary character while increasing the building's ability to withstand the elements in the years to come.[2]

Layout and Features

One of the views from Encore

Of the 34 total units, 30 of the suites at Encore are one bedroom units.

The remaining four are all two bedroom units. Some of the top floor suites have vaulted ceilings as well as sky lights.

Built in 1981, the building was not plumbed to accommodate in-suite laundry, but does have the luxury of laundry rooms on each floor. Thus, there are three laundry rooms in the building, each with one washer and one dryer.

Floor Plans

Sample two bedroom ground floor layout

Few published floor plans exist for Encore, however one example is displayed here. also, some images of interior layouts are also provided.

A suite with skylight windows in a high ceiling
An interior image of one of the units in the Encore

Amenities

Frequently, buildings in North Vancouver seem to lack in-house amenities in proportion to other buildings in neighbouring municipalities of Greater Vancouver.

One theory for this is the excellent quality and accessibility of the North Shore Recreation Centres.

The nearest to Encore is the John Braithwaite Community Centre on the 100 block of East 1st Street and includes exercise facilities, shared-use computers, meeting rooms and other amenities. A little further on, residents reach the Lonsdale Quay markets with over 80 specialty shops and services.

The Encore features underground parking, storage, and a shared laundry on every floor.


Bylaws

Encore Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues Yes


The bylaws currently allow for unrestricted rentals, which currently comprise approximately one third of the occupants in the building.

There are no restrictions on an occupant's or owners age.

Occupants may have up to two pets, including dogs.

There are no restrictions on patio barbecues.

Likewise, there are no restrictions on laminate or hardwood flooring.


Sustainability

In the 1980s, the era that Encore was built, not much deliberate attention was given to 'green' and sustainable construction techniques.

Perhaps inadvertent results were achieved through merely practical means, such as ordering locally available lumber products to reduce shipping charges, and locally obtained aggregate materials for foundations and sidewalks.

As residents in Encore continue to improve their homes, they may take steps to lower their impact on the environment by installing low-flow fixtures, choosing renewable building materials, and low 'volatile organic compound' (VOC) paints and adhesives. The proper and safe disposal of renovation waste is also beneficial.

Vancouver as a whole is in the running to become the “World’s Greenest City” by the year 2020. A lofty goal, to say the least, but achievable when construction companies, architects, and individual homeowners all contribute to the guidelines set out for this accomplishment.

Trivia

One of the exhibits at Presentation House
  • Encore's next door neighbour, the Presentation House and North Vancouver Museum and Archives, has had a long and storied history in North Vancouver. It has been at different points both North Vancouver's City Hall as well as the headquarters of the former North Vancouver Police.


Anne MacDonald Studio
  • The Anne MacDonald Studio building, which shares the same lot as the Presentation House Theatre, was originally an Anglican Church built in 1899. The 20 by 45 foot wooden building also served as a church hall and later, as a scout hall. The church was replaced in 1973 and the congregation offered the historic building to the city, if they moved it to a new site. Director Anne MacDonald, who headed the The North Vancouver Community Arts Council at the time, spearheaded the acquisition of the old structure and its subsequent relocation. Funding for the project was raised from several sources and Anne MacDonald was honoured by having the new performance arts studio named after her.[3]


  • Intrawest, the building's original developer, started out of Vancouver but grew into one of the world's largest and most recognized builders of resort communities. Now headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Intrawest was one of the first companies to begin building up the Whistler area in the 1980s and beyond.[4]

References

  1. Walk Score
  2. PCM Pomeroy Construction and Maintenance
  3. Presentation House Theatre
  4. Wikipedia - Intrawest

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