Amenities and Common Spaces in Condo Buildings in Kitsilano
Let’s start getting into some of the fun things about condos in Kitsilano – the building amenities! If you want to know more about strata property or strata management, take a look at some of my previous posts about Kitsilano Condo Buildings.
What extras do Condo Buildings offer?
Condos in Kitsilano have a variety of amenities. Since most of Kitsilano is older, you won’t find as many amenities as some of the newer buildings Downtown Vancouver or elsewhere. However, Kitsilano has the mountains and beach, so lots of condos take advantage of the location with common roof top decks.
The amenities offered in condo buildings typically depends on the size of the building, the age of the building (newer buildings typically have modern amenities), and the neighbourhood. Amenities are pretty great, considering that you don’t have to leave your building to work out, go for a swim or enjoy a roof top patio. However, the more amenities the building has, the higher the monthly strata fees are (in order to maintain the space and equipment). Many of these amenities also come with rules (i.e. open/close times, no dogs, no alcohol, etc.).
Here are the typical amenities found in Vancouver.
- Parking stalls are the most common amenity in Vancouver, and Kitsilano Condos. Not every building has parking, particularly lofts and warehouse conversions, but most condos will have secure underground/under building parking spots, as well as a few visitor parking spots. I would highly recommend buying a condo with a parking stall for re-sale value, unless it’s in a location where they aren’t typically offered. If you are buying from a developer, try to negotiate a second parking stall into your contract if possible – it will come in handy down the road.
- Out of suite storage is the second most common amenity, commonly found in Kitsilano condos. Not every building offers storage lockers, and it’s ALWAYS a bonus. Sizes of storage lockers vary widely.. a big locker is 6′ tall, 6′ back and 3′ wide, though they can be any size. Some are found in secure storage rooms, others are found in the parking garage. Think of it as extra square footage to keep your big, rarely used items like golf clubs, snowboards, bikes, etc.
- Most buildings these days have bike storage, which is usually a fenced and locked area or room where you can lock your bike up securely (without having to bring your bike up to your unit and dirtying the elevator and hall ways in the process). Most condos forbid owners/tenants from carrying their bikes in the hallways, thus offer a secure place to keep them. Use multiple locks if your bike is expensive.
Common Green Space, Patios and Roof Top Decks
- This is the most common “lifestyle” amenity in Kitsilano condos. Thanks to the hilly nature of Kits, many apartment buildings in Kitsilano have common roof top patios so everyone in the building can enjoy the views and a large outdoor space. New buildings also offer a large outdoor space to make up for the small, or non existent, balcony. Some common roof top decks provide furniture and some require that you bring your own. Some have fireplaces and gardens, and some are just a simple roof top deck. Typically, there are noise and time restrictions (usually they ask residents to leave after 10pm).
- Many newer buildings have fitness centres, which can range from a small room with weights, an exercise ball and a treadmill, to large rooms with many different cardio and weight machines, a plethora of equipment, tv’s and even things like bouldering walls (Woodwards in Gastown has one!). Consider the amount of money you would normally spend on a gym membership and your monthly condo fee doesn’t seem so bad. In Kitsilano, most older condo building do not have gym, however, some of the newer buildings like Kits360 will have one.
- This is another common amenity that may be found in older buildings in Kitsilano, solely because they are easy and cheap for the strata, otherwise a lot of newer buildings offer these rooms adjacent to the roof top deck so owners can use both at their leisure. “Party rooms” are large common spaces with anything from a big table and chairs, small kitchenette, TV’s, maybe a pool table, etc. Party rooms can be reserved if you’re having a large gathering and don’t want any other residents to interrupt. These spaces are normally adjacent to the common roof top decks. Buildings usually hold monthly strata meetings here.
Pools, Hot tubs, Saunas and Steam Rooms
- A pool is one luxury many people want but often don’t use as much as expected. Many new condos in Vancouver have pools. Some pools are big with proper shallow and deep ends and some are merely lap pools. If there is a pool, you can usually expect to see a hot tub and many have saunas and steam rooms as well. Change rooms and showers usually accompany this amenity. Some older buildings in Kitsilano have sauna and steam rooms. They’re usually quite small and outdated, but they were popular back in the day when many of these buildings were being built.
- Sitting in the lobby of some, typically newer, buildings is a Concierge! This person is available to help with any issues, ensure security of people entering and exiting the building, accept packages, etc. Sometimes they work typical daytime hours, other times the conceirge rotates throughout the day to provide 24/7 service.
- These are normally found in Live/Work buildings, giving owners a large space in which to paint, construct, fix, etc. Some are a blank semi finished space, and some offer tools and workbenches.
- These are incredibly rare in Vancouver (though you’ll see them more in Burnaby and outside of the city) however, a few buildings in Kitsilano (like Century House) offer resident only tennis courts. Don’t expect these to be the best quality courts, but they are useful and close by.
When looking into owning a unit in a Strata building in Kitsilano, you need to see the amenities and ask questions like: how often is it cleaned? Who maintains it? When was the last time it was upgraded? How often do people use it? What portion of the Strata fees go towards the amenities? What are the rules around its use?