The Tides at Departure Bay

Departure Bay BeachA new luxury condo development, The Tides at Departure Bay, is to be built just across Departure Bay Road from Departure Bay Beach, Nanaimo. This is one of the most attractive locations in the city. Unlike urbane downtown Nanaimo, the Departure Bay neighbourhood still has a strong community feel. The only drawback to the site is the busy gas station and 7-Eleven convenience store immediately adjacent to The Tides.

This three-story building designed by D'Ambrosio architecture + urbanism of Victoria is quite upscale, and the 14 units are priced beginning in the $600,000s. All have two bedrooms and a den, and most boast ocean views. The three front units on each floor facing directly onto Departure Bay Beach will fetch the highest prices. The 2nd and 3rd floors are each to have seven units, while a trendy cafe will occupy the ground floor. Whether the cafe will generate noise unwelcome to residents remains to be seen but it will be extremely popular when it opens.

It's interesting to compare The Tides with the upmarket Marine Vista condominium presently under construction near downtown Nanaimo. The 23 units in eight-story Marine Vista are selling for $389,900 to $729,900 plus GST. There's more exclusivity at Marine Vista with only two or three units to a floor, and all of the upper levels will have views comparable to the best at The Tides. The varied entertainment and dining options of downtown Nanaimo are within walking distance of Marine Vista whereas only a couple of restaurants are near The Tides.

Which project you select could depend on who you are. If you're a city person who enjoys the excitement and facilities of a vibrant downtown, Marine Vista is worth considering. If you're a beach person who prefers the laidback lifestyle of a local community, The Tides may be your choice. Unit prices in both buildings are roughly similar, although the lower floors at Marine Vista are a lot less expensive than anything in The Tides.

UPDATE: At last report construction of The Tides was on hold after a First Nations burial ground was discovered on the site. The project appears to have been canceled.

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