Some weeks ago, condohype reader Asun asked if I would offer up some thoughts on d’Corize, the 21-storey condo tower in Surrey marketed as the city’s “next majestic landmark.” I’ve been wanting to the lay the boots to this one for a while now, but it’s been a matter of finding the right time. With a special “VIP Preview” happening in Surrey this afternoon — backed by a “special advertising feature” in today’s Vancouver Sun — the time has come.
Asking buyers to “rize” above the Centre (and check their dictionary at the door), developer Newgen Whalley Properties passionately describes d’Corize as a project of “quality view homes” located in Central Surrey’s “most desirable neighbourhood.”
In the interest of accuracy, I will tell you that the neighbourhood in question is Whalley but I understand why the mavens at Platinum Project Marketing Group wouldn’t want to mention that. (Yeah, Platinum’s got the contract on this one.)
Now, notwithstanding the questionable “desirability” of the back-pack man at the bottom of the ad — is he using his pack to carry textbooks or his B&E equipment for a home invasion? — there’s nothing too obviously unattractive about what we can see. Of course, the marketers of d’Corize didn’t show what’s across the street:
This photo, published in the April 25, 2007 edition of Surrey’s Now Newspaper, speaks to the majesty of the d’Corize neighbourhood. It’s an abandoned, filth-infested duplex complete with derelict furniture in the yard and derogatory graffiti on the walls. Who’s owner of this paradise? Newgen Whalley Properties.
Don’t take it from me. Take it from Now reporter Tom Zytaruk:
A vacant duplex at the northeast corner of 134th Street and 104th Avenue — owned by the developer of the d’Corize tower project [Surrey Mayor Dianne] Watts is due to launch today — has been driving local residents around the bend for many months now.
“It’s terrible,” said Vern, an elderly neighbour who asked that his last name not be published.
“You wouldn’t believe what we’ve went through with that over there.”
It gets better.
Despite a chain-link fence surrounding the place, the mess has crept into a city-owned wooded lot to the immediate north, where nests of grubby cushions and a board shelter look to be radiating disease.
Residents of the Mayflower Co-op tower next door look down from their windows and see couples having sex in a grassy area behind their building, Vern added. Out front, rats are digging holes in the flowerbeds.
Vern shakes with frustration as he tells the Now that Whalley is getting worse, despite the spin from developers and Surrey city hall.
On Monday, a company called Enviro-vac was busy removing asbestos from the duplex. One of the workers, Lewis Brunelle, stared at the house as though he were a soldier bracing for the signal to go over the top.
“I’m not looking forward to going in there,” he said.
There be needles.
“They used it as a toilet, so you don’t want to got [sic] in there,” Brunelle warned.
Radiating disease. Rats. Sex in a grassy area. Asbestos. Poo. All characteristics of a desirable neighbourhood, yes?
According to a Platinum spokesperson, the hope for d’Corize is “to attract sophisticated buyers who are seeking the long term durability that is associated with concrete construction as well as investors who see the value of quality and a great location.”
I should end this before I laugh myself silly.
To pre-register for the homes in d’Corize, visit www.dcorize.ca or call 604-580-3267.