Marinproject at Semiahmoo raises the bar

Published on Thu, Apr 12, 2007 by ack Kintner

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Marin project at Semiahmoo raises the bar

By Jack Kintner

Rob Walker and Andy Shaw, working as Shaw and Walker Developers, bought a three-acre piece of waterfront property next to the Semiahmoo Resort’s main building in January of 2005 for a reported price exceeding $8 million.

“It’s time,” Walker said about their Marin condominium project, “for a level of quality here that is more common in Yaletown or Point Grey, or the east in the Hamptons.”

Since the purchase things have moved quickly with the project. Several of the 54 units have been reserved already. Walker’s contractor, Exxel Pacific, broke ground last June and the first units may see occupancy by this winter, a little less than three years after the land purchase. Prices will run from $600,000 to $1.8 million for the units that vary from about 1,200 to 2,300 square feet.

“These are not that expensive when compared to similar units,” Walker said, “because they present a unique opportunity to buy on no-bank waterfront. It appeals to a unique niche but it’s really a matter of marketing, of letting people know this is available, because there isn’t much.”

Walker and Shaw hired Ankenman Marchland Architects of Vancouver who have come up with three 18-unit three story buildings that are broken up by a lot of decks and walkways. Each floor has six units that are mostly on one level though some have lofts. There is one unit at each corner of the building and two more in the middle that stretch across the building from front to back, so all units have outside light and ventilation from at least two directions.

The interiors are being done by False Creek Design Group of Vancouver, headed by architect Jim Toy. Walker says that the amenities are what one would expect of first class accommodations, “including things like steam showers in the units, marble and granite finishes and woods that reflect that level of quality,” Walker said. Each unit will have two covered underground parking spaces.

Realtor Chet Kenoyer said that a full model suite should be ready fairly soon in building A. “We’re getting inquiries from here and there, including some locals,” he said.

Walker, 35, at first seems a little young to be in this league but has plenty of experience, having built 26 houses on his own while running his own business, No. 1 Collision on the Hannegan north of Bellingham, as well as working as a partner with his brother and dad in a B.C. Mercedes dealership. It was there that Walker, as a 15-year-old high school student, met Shaw while washing his car after servicing, he said. Shaw owns Shawood Lumber in Langley, B.C.