Skip to content

Demands are subject to change

Most subdivisions are proposed, approved and built within a year or two, and cater to the market demands of the day.

Most subdivisions are proposed, approved and built within a year or two, and cater to the market demands of the day. That's not to say those requirements don't change over time, but once built, there's not a whole lot a particular development can do about it. That's up to the next project to satisfy.

Because it's been a quarter of a century and counting for Marina Garden Estates, the yet-to-be-completed subdivision just south of the Fraser River in Ladner, we're witnessing something unique: one development evolving hand-in-hand with the ever-changing real estate market.

Back in the 1980s when the project received initial approval, the single-family home was king. They had been the predominant housing type in these parts ever since the George Massey Tunnel opened up the area to suburbanites in 1959, so it only made sense to continue that trend.

Marina Gardens did include some smaller, seniors-oriented housing, but for the most part it was block upon block of family homes. Over the years as prices increased and demographics changed, townhouses were introduced and now we're seeing a revision that includes a significant number of apartments.

It's by no means surprising to see a project now well into its third decade being updated to reflect a changing marketplace, but it should give us reason to pause as we undertake planning efforts in our various communities.

Delta originally developed as a place for families, a municipality where a home on a decent-sized lot was within the financial reach of most, a reality that made the construction of other housing choices largely unnecessary. The buildout was amazingly swift and when it was over, the landscape was a sea of singlefamily homes.

Fast-forward 30 or 40 years and many of those expensive homes are now occupied by empty nesters, couples that no longer need, or want, 2,500 square feet or more, so they're looking around for something else.

Marina Gardens is adapting to meet some of this demand, the most recent attempt we've seen in South Delta to cater to it. Tsawwassen Springs sprung from the drawing board to help fill this same market niche, while it's no surprise the Century Group's plan for the Southlands contains very few single-family homes.

Our communities are evolving so it only makes sense that our housing stock keeps pace. Marina Garden Estates is proof that even the best laid plans are subject to change.