A week after selling all 37 suites in the Four Seasons Private Residences, Intrawest and Pan Pacific Hotels announced plans to launch the Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre at an April 29 sales exhibition in Vancouver.
The 83-suite boutique-style hotel will be sold as freehold, strata-titled condominiums to individual owners.
Due to the anticipated demand and limited availability, Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre will only be available through Intrawests Priority Registration program that commenced March 31.
Following the success of the first Pan Pacific in Whistler, B.C., which sold out in less than two hours in 1996 and continues to show the highest re-sale value in the Whistler market, Intrawest anticipates that the nine-story Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre will receive an enthusiastic response from prospective purchasers.
The suites will range in size between 407 sq. ft. and 1,680 sq. ft. and prices start at $300,000 CDN. Architectural details include stepped architecture that allows for unique suite designs and a variety of balcony sizes. Some suites will have vaulted ceilings and all suites will contain oversized windows, maximizing view opportunities to the surrounding mountains and village.
Buyers at Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre will have access to their suites for 28 days in summer and 28 days in winter, with an optional 20 days throughout the year pending suite availability. For the rest of the year, the suites will be rented out as guest rooms by the hotel for which owners will receive the rental income less expenses.
Construction of Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre is scheduled to begin May 2003 and is slated for completion November 2004. Amenities in the luxury hotel will include a 75-foot lap pool, spa and treatment rooms, sauna, fitness rooms, private landscape areas, outdoor BBQ area, room service, meeting rooms and a business centre.
Meanwhile, at the sale of the Four Seasons Private Residences on March 22 buyers put down $109 million for 37 hotel/condo suites, selling out the Intrawest development in just over two hours.
There were two sales at $5.4 million for the penthouse suites; two sales at $5 million; and four sales at $4 million. The cheapest suite on the block was $1.7 million. Compare that to the three sales over $5 million throughout the entire Whistler real estate market in 2002.
Along with a handful of local buyers, there were also buyers from Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Venezuela and the U.S. One buyer snapped up five condos alone. More than half the buyers already owned properties in Whistler.
"A lot of these people own real estate in the top resorts in the world," said Ross McCredie, director of sales and marketing at Playground Destination Properties, Intrawests marketing and sales arm.
"In their minds they see Whistler and this particular offer as a great value."
The buyers were not looking at these condos for their rental capacity like they would if they bought a suite at the Pan Pacific Hotel.
"We really sold the lifestyle and the building itself instead of the spreadsheet," he said.
But the fast-pace sellout caught McCredie off-guard.
"I really didnt know that we were going to sellout," he said.
The sellout was even more extraordinary he said because of the ongoing war and the fact American buyers may be a little wary at the moment.
"They see this as a safe way to park their money," he said.
There may even be a spillover in the high-end Whistler market as a whole, particularly in the Blackcomb Benchlands, where this project will be built over the next year and a half.
"I think itll give people a little more confidence," he said.
The Four Seasons Private Residences are a departure from the typical Intrawest development because the whole complex is very high-end.
"Its one building full of penthouses," said McCredie.
Most of their other developments, for example the Fresh Tracks Lodge in Creekside, have just one penthouse and three or four other condos on par with the penthouse.
"There wont be anything in Whistler like this," said McCredie, adding that there will be very few places like this the world over.
The suites will be fully furnished, ranging in size from 1,500 square feet for a two-bedroom home to almost 3,700 square feet for the penthouses.
The development will have a private spa, lap pool, cardio room and gym. Owners will also be able to access amenities like room service from the neighbouring Four Seasons hotel.
Last spring Intrawest sold the 242-suite Four Seasons Resort Whistler luxury hotel for $150 million in just five hours.
Construction for the private residences will start next month.