People are willing to live in tiny condominiums if the price, location, amenities and efficiencies are just right.
“The price point was the most obvious advantage,” said Rob Hager, who is managing sales for the Cambridge House micro-suite building being built at the corner of Highway 97 and Ethel Street.
“There’s nothing brand new in the Okanagan under $200,000, let alone under $100,000, and our prices started at $94,900.”
Hager, of Tactx Project Sales & Marketing, said once the price lured potential buyers in, they were impressed with the quality of the condos, the location close to downtown and the investment possibilities.
Cambridge has a sales centre downtown at 347 Leon Ave., where it has built a full-size model of the 313-square-foot smart studio that’s the signature of the project.
“Yes, 313 square feet is a small space,” admitted Hager. “But, it’s very livable and functional because it has all these unique efficiencies of space.”
The biggest space saver is the queen-size murphy bed that folds down from the wall to cover the couch and coffee table in the living room.
There’s also lots of storage under the couch.
The kitchen is along one wall, and while it features a full-size fridge and oven, it doubles as the laundry room with an in-wall, all-in-one combined clothes washer and dryer.
The dining room is really a flex space with a smart table that folds as small as a side table up against the wall or expands to a desk to make a home office, or gets bigger yet with the addition of leaves to become a dining table that can seat up to eight.
The folding chairs that go with it are ultra-thin and can be stored in the adjacent closet.
The washroom has a combined tub and shower and a pocket door so there’s no door swinging in or out.
The condos for $94,900 were snapped up right away in a sales blitz over the weekend that saw 172 of the 192 condos sold in one day.
The least expensive of the suites is the 313-square-foot layout with no balcony facing the adjacent six-storey apartment building.
It also doesn’t come with a parking space in the two-storey, under-building parkade.
Sixteen of the suites do not include a parking space.
A parking spot alone adds $30,000 to the price of a condo.
With a 20 per cent down payment and a low mortgage interest rate, Cambridge said the monthly mortgage payment was under $400 a month.
However, that $400 didn’t include the $142 monthly strata fee, utilities or cable.
Still, the Cambridge was marketed as a project where you can buy and live for less than the average apartment rent in Kelowna.
Other 313-square-foot models with a balcony, parking space and facing better views to the south, west and north are priced at $147,900.
The Cambridge is a six-storey U-shaped building with four floors of condos.
While most of the condos are studios, there are a handful of 451-square-foot one-bedrooms and 946-square-foot two-bedrooms.
Buyers have covered the spectrum from singles and young couples to empty-nesters and those who have purchased with the intention of renting out their unit.
Only 20 per cent of the 192 condos have small balconies, so Cambridge has put a premium on common spaces and other outdoor amenities.
The courtyard, which is at the third-floor level on top of under-building parking, will have lawn and barbecues, clusters of patio furniture and direct access for inward-facing third-floor condos.
A 4,700-square-foot common space includes a lounge with TV, fitness room and business centre.
Construction has started for completion in the spring of 2018.
The Cambridge is being developed by K West Homes, which built the 147-unit Terravita condominium complex beside Shannon Ridge Golf Course and single-family homes at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Course.