E15 project close to vibrant Main Street, yet situated on quiet tree-lined street

Vancouver Sun • Barbara Gunn
Published on
July 23, 2021
minute read

“It’s a fantastic area of Vancouver,” says Norm Shearing, president of OpenForm Properties. “Mount Pleasant is unique. I know the area well.”

As developer Norm Shearing sees it, his company’s new 49-unit residential project in East Vancouver represents one special community within another.

The undertaking is called E15 Just Off Main, a nod to its location at East 15th Avenue and Sophia Street. Comprising both townhomes and one-level residences, it will rise in the city’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.

“It’s a fantastic area of Vancouver,” says Shearing, president of OpenForm Properties. “Mount Pleasant is unique. I know the area well.”

Indeed, he does: after all, Shearing lived there for several years.

E15, which is expected to be ready for occupancy in early 2023, will offer its residents quick access to everything they could need or want — from brew pubs to eclectic cafes, and from funky boutiques to browse-worthy antique shops.

Access to transit is but steps away, while nearby is the SkyTrain line, as well as the False Creek seawall, Science World and the Creekside Community Centre.

But while it will be steps from the myriad offerings on Main, E15 will make its home on a quiet, tree-lined street across from a park. “You get the best of both worlds,” Shearing says. “You get the quietness of a residential neighbourhood, but you’re a block away from the vibrancy of Main Street.”

It will, says Shearing, have its own sense of community, courtesy of its amenities and blend of offerings, which range from what the developer is calling “garden flats” to three-level townhomes with three bedrooms, dens and rooftop decks.

“We started with the idea of community, not only the community that we are situated in, Mount Pleasant, but also the community we created within the development,” he says. “With a broad mix of unit types, it provides for a broad mix of purchasers and people. So that was part of it, as well.”

The project’s common gathering spaces, he adds, will enhance such a sense of residential connection.“Very much so,” says Shearing. “We have everything from projections for movie nights to a children’s play area. We have lawn areas and firepits for adult conversations, communal barbecues and picnic areas.“All of these add to the community of a place.”

Dave Bauman, director of sales at Magnum Projects, which is marketing E15 on behalf of the developer, says the project is attracting a mix of people, as was anticipated.

“It’s a wide range,” says Bauman, noting that 75 per cent of the homes were snapped up in the first two weeks of sales, something he attributes to both a strong market and “the fact that there’s a relative lack of this type of family-style townhomes off Main Street, off a busy corridor.”

“But I’d say the majority are people who either rent or live in the neighbourhood. They definitely have an affinity for the area.”

Different homes, not unexpectedly, have been resonating with different types of buyers, Bauman says.

“The garden flats are really going to singles or couples, perhaps dual professionals who work downtown and don’t have kids, whereas the townhomes are attracting young families or people who are thinking about having a family.”

Shearing, who is also an architect, notes that the project’s exterior showcases a creative angled design, which maximizes both the private outdoor spaces and the green space in the courtyard.

Such angling also opens up spaces — or “canvases,” says Shearing — on the exterior walls of many of the homes, which will be emblazoned with the colourful abstract murals of Vancouver artist Scott Sueme.

Inside, the residences, which range from 450 to more than 1,400 square feet, feature laminate flooring, large windows and open plans.

On offer are three colour palettes with names apparently inspired by the area’s thriving craft beer culture: IPA (light wood and neutral accents), Lager (white veneer with white accents) and Ale (dark wood and white accents).

Kitchens feature European-style cabinets with black matte pulls, striking geometric backsplashes, quartz countertops and under-cabinet task lighting. The integrated appliance package is from Fisher Paykel.

Bathrooms also have counters topped with quartz and are fitted with porcelain wall tiles, soaker tubs and undermount sinks.

Homes will also be fitted with custom roller blinds and stacked Bosch washers and dryers.

Inside and out, Shearing says, E15 will speak to OpenForm being what it calls a “design-driven development group.”

“E15 does speak to that,” he says. “It is very much design driven. My background is architecture so I understand buildings, but I also understand design and good design.”

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