It promises to be a place where Jay Gatsby would have felt right at home.
On Thursday afternoon, the City of Langley unveiled plans for a new 15-storey mixed commercial/condominium development, designed on a 1920s theme.
Construction is scheduled to begin on Charleston Place next spring, on what is currently the site of China Beach night club at 203 Street and Industrial Avenue.
Described as a luxury development, the New York-inspired building will include six floors of commercial space, topped with a roof garden. From there, 46 residential units will rise another nine storeys.
In addition to the garden, the seventh floor will also house two guest suites and a multipurpose room, which will feature a dance floor inspired by the popular 1920s-era dance, the Charleston.
Crown mouldings, heated bathroom floors, old style box planters, transom windows and concierge service are among the features that will lend Charleston Place its luxury cachet.
The strata units, which will range between 850 square feet and a 2,100 square foot penthouse, will be priced from the $400,000s to $1.2 million, said David Phan, president of P2000 Developments, the Calgary-based firm which purchased the property in 2011 after keeping an eye on the community for about five years.
“We wanted to expand our vision and our development west. We learned about the Downtown Master Plan in 2006 and watched with astonishment as the City of Langley continued to expand,” he told a standing room-only crowd gathered in an upstairs meeting room at City Hall for the official unveiling.
The brick and mortar construction will help to make the art deco-inspired building “timeless,” said Phan. And, he said, it will serve as a catalyst to attract new development.
While the project must still must pass rezoning and development permit stages, the City made the announcement with great fanfare on Thursday afternoon.
“This is one that we are very excited about,” said Mayor Peter Fassbender. “It’s the next piece of the puzzle.”
However, the City is not losing sight of its responsibility to provide affordable housing, he said.
“It’s the right locale, and it is not the beginning of a series of high-rises along Fraser Highway. That’s not appropriate to our vision.”
The building, which will face onto Industrial Avenue, will be “a gateway to downtown Langley and an iconic landmark,” said Calgary architect Steven Ho, who designed the structure, which will include secured underground parking for residents as well as an additional 230 covered spaces above grade.
Construction on the $55 million building is expected to take two years, beginning next March, with completion anticipated in December, 2015. Pre-sales will likely begin this September.
Ideally, the commercial space will draw professional tenants, such as medical offices, a bank and a drugstore, Ho said, adding the commerce will only add to the street life of the area. Phan said the commercial space will be available for purchase, with owners forming a strata corporation.
Speaking on behalf of the Downtown Langley Business Association, executive director Teri James — who also serves a Langley City council member — said the development will stimulate the City’s retail economy and be a strong catalyst for business growth.