Posts Tagged ‘Varsity’

Vancouver Sun: Robert Fung says his Salient Group ‘takes the life-cycle clock back to zero.’

October 4th, 2007
Beside the renovated 1912 Lumberman's Building, Robert Fung says his Salient Group 'takes the life-cycle clock back to zero.'

Beside the renovated 1912 Lumberman's Building, Robert Fung says his Salient Group 'takes the life-cycle clock back to zero.'

Robert Fung should have H as a middle initial. It would stand for “heritage,” because that has characterized the Salient development firm’s president since he left Concord Pacific to found it in 2001.

His first acquisition was the now-121-year-old Alhambra on Gastown’s Maple Tree Square where Salient has its offices. When city workers resume their duties, Fung should be able to start renovating the 26,000-square-foot structure into “what will still be one of the city’s oldest but also most modern buildings.” 

Ditto the nearby 50,000-square-foot Flack Block, where $15 million, including hard costs of $12 million, will add a fifth floor and totally renovate a “substantially vacant” building that housed “a pawnshop, booze cans and grow-ops” when Fung paid $2.5 million for it in 2005. 

“It was technically an office block, but the city had a broad definition,” Fung said, smiling. 

He was standing across Richards Street from the Lumbermen’s Building, which he bought vacant for $4 million in 2005. Closer to the Central Business District and in better physical condition than most of Salient’s Gastown centred projects, the building still broadly fits Fung’s aim of “breathing new life into vacant, desolate buildings, and bringing in a new population that appreciates them.”

He means folk who’ll occupy 29 live-work condos in the 1907 Paris Block at Hastings-off-Carrall Street. Demolition began this week for an 18-unit annex where similar units will fetch $600 per square foot. Sensitive to gentrification charges from Downtown Eastside residents, he said Salient projects will “round out the community… [and] the street feels more comfortable.”


Globe & Mail: Varsity: New life for a village landmark

March 9th, 2007


The Varsity
New life for a village landmark 
By Thomasina Barnes
Globe & Mail
Mar 9, 2007 

The Salient Group is bringing affordability to Point Grey with their newest residential addition, The Varsity. 

Though the project was thwarted in 2005 by an unprecedented rise in construction costs, The Salient Group was able to re-design, re-price and re-launch. Their aim is to create high-quality, high-style living in a prestige neighbourhood without the high pricing. Single family homes in Point Grey are now selling for $1.5 million, three times the price of Varsity.

“The Varsity is designed with the urban flair of a high end Coal Harbour penthouse with the neighbourhood amenities of a multi-million dollar Point Grey home – but without the million-dollar Point Grey price tag,” says developer Robert Fung of the Salient Group. 

The project offers 19 condominium units with the ground floor designed for commercial use. It is the first residential project in Vancouver to introduce the Italian Benazzeni commercial gas range stove, which performs like a high quality commercial unit but has a sleek design for personal convenience and gourmet style. 

Quality style and quality brands are the theme of Varsity. Almost all of the kitchen appliances (Liebherr fridge, AEG dishwasher and Faber hood fan) have been concealed by and integrated into custom millwork. The floors are covered in solid walnut or smoked oak hardwood and the bathrooms have honed marble countertops and Paini fixtures. The majority of the Varsity units have large outdoor living spaces and seven suites come with outdoor gas fireplaces.


BC Business: A Striking Nature

September 1st, 2006

Bowman Show Suite 1

BC Business: A Striking Nature
The salient group’s unique brand of urban revitalization begins with a plan for a healthy community

Consider Gastown, its cobbled streets, 100-year-old hotels, banks and office buildings – one of the last bastions of Vancouver’s architectural past, a once luxurious neighbourhood now relegated to social housing and tourism, its recent retail life fueled by maple syrup and t-shirts. 

Robert Fung, founder and president of The Salient Group of companies, has a vision for Gastown, a vision that applies equally to any urban neighbourhood where grand old buildings are threatened by neglect and obsolescence. “As a company, Salient acquires, develops and manages residential and commercial properties,” says Fung. “These goals run congruent to our passion, which is urban infill, and the rejuvenation and reinterpretation of our dwindling architectural heritage. We believe that building on a neighbourhood’s existing characteristics enhances the health of a community.” 

”What Robert identified is the concept of critical mass of redevelopment,” explains Gair Williamson, principle of Gair Williamson Architects. “If you can change three, five or six buildings, you begin to change the neighbourhood. It’s a very smart strategy.” According to Mark Ostry of Acton Ostry Architects, the Salient Group strategically picks inner city neighbourhoods in established communities that are without a sense of overall “balance.” Fung, says Ostry, has been very successful in negotiating with city planning departments to add value to the company’s developments. “Philosophically, Salient is very interested in this form of community redevelopment,” says Ostry, “They really try to weave their projects into the existing urban fabric.”


Varsity sells 85% in one day

October 15th, 2005

Vancouver Sun – Varsity sells 85% in one day

Download the article here (873KB Acrobat .pdf file)