The benchmark price of a Metro Vancouver home was over $1 million at last count.
So it’s tough to blame people if they don’t seem surprised that a developer is set to build a new luxury condo project.
Not as a residence, mind you. But, rather, a condo for their supercars.
Coverage of luxury cars on Globalnews.ca:
The base price for a unit is $600,000, and owners can pay more to design their “luxury garages” to “reflect their own unique style.”
But they can also choose from four “pre-designed interior packages.”
The “Marinello” package, shown above, will allow drivers to store their luxury cars in double-width units next to furniture designed by international chain B&B Italia.
It will include space to place couches and even a dining area.
Meanwhile, the “Detroit” design, shown above, aims to evoke the “emotive growl of American car culture.”
It will allow car owners to immerse themselves “in the memory of Route 66 and the open North American road.” You can also pour yourself a beer, right out of a tap.
“It’s almost a recreational property,” said Jeremy Schaab, general manager of OpenRoad Lexus at the Richmond Auto Mall.
“You don’t have a place in Whistler but they’ve got kind of a cool place where they can show off their cars and toys to their friends.”
A luxury spot to park your car isn’t a new concept in Vancouver, nor elsewhere.
One Vancouver building has a $14-million parking system. And a building in Singapore has its own car elevator.
People who spoke to Global News didn’t seem surprised to hear about such a project, in a region where a home is well out of the reach of many local incomes.
“I don’t have a $3-million car, but I would put it in there if I had one,” said one.
“With everything going on with the real estate market and everything, if someone can afford it, why not?” said another.
Trove has already found plenty of interest — it is 64 per cent sold.
And it comes as people are spending more and more money on luxury cars in Canada.
A chart released by BMO last year showed that Canadian sales of cars with a base suggested retail price of $90,000 grew by 37 per cent from 2013 to 2016.
BMO economist Alex Koustas noted at the time that “anecdotal evidence suggests that an inflow of foreign money is fuelling the sales growth,” though he also said that “we’ve long argued that a growing share of Canadians are buying ‘too much car.’
“Neither case is an ideal scenario.”
The appearance of luxury condos for cars doesn’t excite Justin Fung, the spokesman for Housing Action for Local Taxpayers (HALT), an activist group that focuses on housing affordability.
“This isn’t a city for people who want to work and live and contribute to the economy anymore,” he told Global News.
“We really are turning into a playground for the international elite, for a lot of very wealthy people.”