For Cory and Sandy Saran of Forge Properties, the Royce White Rock – their 80-unit project at 14855 Thrift Ave. – is more than meets the eye. It’s a dream becoming reality.
“The Royce is a really unique type of building,” Cory Saran said. “This calibre of construction hasn’t really happened too much in the Fraser Valley, especially in the Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford area.
“It’s definitely a legacy build for all of us.”
The five-storey, wood-frame project is Forge Properties’ third multi-family residential project on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. South Beach, in the 15700-block of Marine Drive, was first, in 2008; then Keystone, in the 2900-block of King George Boulevard, was ready in 2012.
Forge bought the 2½-acre, 10-parcel property on Thrift Avenue that same year, and had Crescent Beach-based architect Mark Ankenman dust off designs he had come up with for the previous owner years before. The interiors were redone, floors were added and Royce was born.
Senior project manager Eaman Rezvani said Ankenman “brought a modern twist to West Coast architecture” when he designed Royce, citing, among other things, the use of corrugated metal and locally sourced timber.
Inside, the one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums have open floor plans that take advantage of the natural light from their southern exposure.
Cory described Royce’s views and location as “kind of a perfect storm.” The proximity to amenities is convenient, yet away from the hustle and bustle of the city core, he said.
Sandy noted that in the development process, Forge was encouraged to maximize density on the site, but made a conscious decision not to. As local residents – she and her husband live in South Surrey – they wanted the final product to be one they could be proud of, she said.
“We love the design, we love how it fits in with the neighbourhood,” she said. “We really want to stay in the community and keep building. We’re not the type to just build and run off to another municipality.”
Cory agreed, describing community planning as “really important to us.”
Royce was built with the landscape in mind, he said. Its U-shape follows the east-to-west down-sloping grade of the property, and its ends terrace back.
“It’s definitely far from a box. Architecturally, it’s gorgeous,” he said.
Rezvani noted a commonality amongst those buying into Royce – it is 60-per-cent sold – is that they actually plan to live there themselves. He attributed the pattern to buyers looking for a lifestyle.
“If you want to live outdoors, you can live outdoors inside,” he said, citing the combination of the spacious decks – particularly that of the penthouse units – open floor plans and natural light.
“More of the space is allocated toward living.”
The Sarans are also proud of Forge’s local presence. The company was started by Cory Saran’s dad, Jack, in 1969 and remains a family affair.
Jack Saran is on site at Royce every day.
Cory and Sandy – high school sweethearts who married seven years ago – ran all aspects of the company for eight years, from the time they were 20.
“We learned the ins and out of construction from the ground up,” Cory said.
Over the past year, they’ve added seven staff, including Rezvani, to the business.
With Royce to be move-in ready this spring, they’re already planning for two more local projects; one in White Rock and a second in South Surrey.