Worst for Last
More 2220 Kingsway / Kensington Gardens Marketing Fail?
Through the letter slot on 20 October 2014 slides a glossy foldout that further exposes the failures of Westbank marketing of 2220 Kingsway / Kensington Gardens. Here’s a scan of the front and back.
A Final Tower Release Event is scheduled to “happen” on Saturday 25 October 2014. With this further information, we can see for sure that the ominous-sounding Final Tower can be identified as the least desirable East Tower.
Save the worst till last! The biggest tower in the ugliest location. Even if very few buy, the free food should attract enough of a crowd to obscure that fact.
If nothing else, Westbank should manage to avoid the total embarrassment of absolute no interest that manifested back on 8 February 2014.
Watch Vancouver mainstream media this week to see if some outlet will shill out a shameless infomercial.
Many Months Onward
What has been going on with 2220 Kingsway marketing since early February? A plausible speculation would be that there has always been a push on to market to offshore investors, since that is known to be a favored Westbank strategy.
Perhaps too many prospective buyers, both in Vancouver and elsewhere, have decided that the five-star gem of a Westbank project should not be set along the truck route asphalt of Kingsway.
Perhaps Westbank now is crawling back to the local market in desperation, to try to hawk the humongous pile of leftovers.
Back to the primary market for East Vancouver. But with an image and a cost that will strike smart locals as way too fancy for the location.
Why the Worst?
Why is East Tower the worst tower? Four easy reasons.
One — The tower form is all about the view. This East tower will mainly have breathtaking views of … the other two towers that are the same height. What can be seen to the south and the east is not what shows up in the advertisement. The cruelest trick is that the view of mountains and inlet to the north is doomed when the large site across Kingsway redevelops to the twelve stories specified in the Norquay Plan. No one can own a view.
Two — That outside edge of the fortress will overlook … the noise and exhaust and traffic of delivery trucks in the narrow lane designated to service the big box store buried in the heart of the development. Not to mention all the other traffic (residential and commercial) streaming into and out of the massive underground parking arena. All of the other three perimeter buildings overlook existing streets.
Three — Biggest is least exclusive. And the exterior design is arguably the worst.
Four — Harsh weather will broadside East tower. That tower will provide windbreak for the interior courtyard and the other two towers. That tower may experience higher energy costs. Whenever envelope breach occurs, East Tower should fail first.
Views of What?
Perhaps the biggest flim-flam has to do with views. No one in any tower will enjoy the airplane vista that graces the brochure. Many will be looking mainly at other towers sited for minimum allowed separation. Most residents will have a view that is not that far from pavement level.
How much of that panorama can be seen in the ordinary world? Why have the golden arches of the nearby McDonalds disappeared? Why is there almost no traffic flowing along Kingsway? Those are three quick questions that jump to mind.
For the benefit of those unable to examine the old Canadian Tire site in person, here are a few useful local views — across Kingsway, and proceeding west toward downtown for the two blocks to Victoria Drive.
Dollarama Across the Street
The Five-Star Elegance of Those Golden Arches
At Your Doorstep?
Here are the ordinary street distances to the three external “amenities” touted below the disappeared-McDonalds picture. (Remember, that’s a picture in the brochure, not a photograph.)
1.2 km to Kensington Branch of Vancouver Public Library
1.5 km to John Hendry Park / Trout Lake
1.0 km to Nanaimo SkyTrain Station
Any property owner in Vancouver whose doorstep is a kilometer or more away is going to be a very rich person. Imagine having that much land.
Surprises Throughout the Day?
One of the surprises was prepared about three weeks ago. Protective plastic orange fencing went up around City of Vancouver boulevard trees along three edges of the Canadian Tire site.
Pay close attention. This fencing is mostly a subliminal message:
You must decide to buy right now because construction is just about to begin
Never mind that the whole Kensington Gardens project appears to be less than half-sold after a marketing campaign that started in late 2013.
Never mind that the rent-a-fence that has been up for months (to keep out garbage dumpers and strewers of used needles) has come down just ahead of the October 25 event.
Never mind that the condo offerings have already been picked over. Or still will be held back.