Families in British Columbia are seeking affordable homes beyond Vancouver. It has led to the expansion of areas like Surrey and Langley — places many considered too far away only 15 years ago. Abbotsford is on track for high demand, and Highstreet Village by AB Wall is preparing to fill that need.
Highstreet Village is a large master-planned community that will become part of an area that already includes the expansive Highstreet Shopping Centre.
Livabl spoke with Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing project manager Jordyne Toor and senior vice president of project operations Michelle Des Rosiers about Highstreet Village and the growth of Abbotsford.
Can you tell us a bit about Highstreet Village and the area?
Highstreet Village is a 12-acre master-planned community that’s strictly residential. We have 157 townhomes, and eight multi-phase condominiums. It’s quite an extensive development and it’s really the only opportunity to live in a new multi-family area with walkability to Highstreet Shopping Centre. The Highstreet Village connector road is the only thing that separates the development from the shopping centre. It’s literally a walk across the street.
It’s a very exciting development for west Abbotsford, it’s going to be a big one. We’re calling it “the remarkable Highstreet Village” because it’s something so remarkable for Abbotsford to see. A big point for buyers is that buying into Highstreet Village is buying into the future of [Abbotsford].
There won’t be any future development in that area because it’s already established. There’s currently a roundabout to get access to the highway, which has caused a little bit of confusion in terms of traffic. So the developer is redoing the entire interchange so that it’s safer for everyone, and it’s going to be a great change.
When you’re driving along [Highway 1] to west Abbotsford, it’s the first part of the city that you see — it’s right on the border of Langley. Highstreet Shopping Centre is an outdoor shopping area and it’s a great walkable village with restaurants, a movie theatre and more. It’s something you would typically see in the United States.
This was a big deal for Abbotsford when it was built. Highstreet Shopping Centre is next to a [former steel plant that will be relocated. AB Wall purchased the steel plant land, and the development will be built on this property]. Beside that is another shopping centre, and then residential development. Highstreet Village will feel in that gap in the area and tie it all together.
Is it fair to say that the accessibility of Abbotsford from Highway 1 is a big selling point?
The accessibility is huge. Abbotsford is set to become one of the Fraser Valley’s biggest hubs, similar to what’s happened in Surrey City Centre. Abbotsford has big plans for growth, it’s a quick jump over the border to the U.S., we’ve got Abbotsford International Airport, university campuses [such as University of Fraser Valley]. It’s really easy to hop on Highway 1 and it takes you anywhere you want to go. That’s going to be especially attractive to buyers as well, especially if they’re commuting.
What kind of townhomes will Highstreet Village have and do they have their own amenities?
We’ve got a good variety of townhome types, from entry-level smaller to a larger family-type. With the townhomes we’re targeting a family buyer. You get the most amazing Mount Baker views from this site.
The townhomes also have a clubhouse called the Cardinal Club. It sits and connects onto a back outdoor amenity with a play area, an open field, some water features and landscaping. We really tried to hone in on what our buyers would get the most use out of in the clubhouse. We came up with an idea for Zoom rooms, where residents can make use of this quiet space with a fun background to conduct their meetings.
We’ve got a Peloton room, we’ve got a main entertainment area on the lower level, which will have a kitchen and lounge area, and it connects to an indoor children’s playground. The concept is that families could sit and socialize and that kids could play, regardless of the weather.
The upper level is more adult-focused, with areas for sitting and watching television. That connects to a rooftop patio with a fire table. The amenity building is meant to act as an extension to everyone’s home. It’s a great place to bring friends over to socialize. This area is exclusive to the townhomes, and the eight low-rise buildings will have their own indoor and outdoor amenities. We will be launching the first of the condos in September.
What type of buyer would be interested in Highstreet Village?
Something we’ve noticed in the Fraser Valley is that you’ll have a family buyer, and then you’ll have active grandparents who want to live near their grandkids. We will see that type of buyer as well. This type of home is definitely what families are after, especially because of what’s happened to single-family home pricing in British Columbia.
What has made Abbotsford so appealing for new buyers?
It’s such a major hub with great accessibility and it only has room to grow. It already has so many things going for it, and what makes it really attractive is that it’s a community that’s growing. The city has a plan [that was launched in 2017] called “The Plan for 200,000”, to redevelop their entire city centre. That’s going to bring a lot of life to the community and opportunities for people to work where they live.
But when you look out past the hub, it’s farmland. Abbotsford is the raspberry capital of Canada, and it’s a really diverse area. People still might have their head wrapped around the idea that it’s so far [from Vancouver] and it’s such a commute, but the truth is not a lot of people are commuting any more. There is a huge trend of people migrating east [into the province]. Langley has become so popular and Abbotsford will be the next market to see that huge demand.
To learn more about Highstreet Village, visit highstreetvillage.ca.