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The Observatory North Vancouver Condos
Lower Lonsdale used to be a sleepy community that was home to one of the biggest ship building industries in the Lower Mainland. Then came the proposed Lower Lonsdale Observatory North Vancouver condo high-rise building by Cressey Developers.

According to a few early residents of the Lower Lonsdale real estate district, it came as a rude awakening when the old St. Alice Hotel, a heritage landmark on West 2nd Street – 100 block of North Vancouver was sold to property developers Cressey Development. As a proposed thirty story residential condo tower, the North Vancouver Observatory condominium residences would become the tallest high-rise in all of the North Shore.

Luxury North Vancouver Homes for Sale at the GreenView Townhomes in Central Lonsdale Real Estate Market

The Observatory Tower Residences is the tallest high-rise condo building in all of the North Shore and is located in the Lower Lonsdale real estate districtThe Background of the Lower Lonsdale Observatory Condominiums
Back then, the wording of the height restriction regulations of the City of North Vancouver real estate market for residential high-rises was worded in such a way that the Cressey proposal for The North Vancouver Observatory was allowed to go through city council amid some local protests among residents and others against densification. According to the Project Sales Manager at Cressey Development, "We have no criticisms to overcome in terms of the design of the property at the North Shore Observatory Condo Tower. The layouts are excellent! The presale Observatory North Shore condo units contain so many design features that prospective purchasers' response has been totally positive. Many have commented that the North Vancouver Observatory residences design allows for the sensation of floating out over the view instead of being enclosed. This applies not only to the kitchens and bathrooms at the North Shore Observatory homes mentioned earlier but to the bedrooms as well as the balconies where safety glass allows a view even while you are seated indoors or out. There is more extensive use of glass here at The Observatory Condos in North Vancouver than on any other Lower Lonsdale real estate project I've ever sold." However according to many, there was a public outcry over the height of the residential high-rise and that the Official Community Plan had a height restriction of 75 feet for the Lower Lonsdale corridor on the west side of Lonsdale. This amounts to eight storeys only. At that time, city council and local residents began putting together a vision of what they wanted to see changed and revitalized in the grubby and run-down Lower Lonsdale real estate district and after a year long planning study through 1997, it was decided that a master planned condo/retail/commercial community including the North Vancouver Observatory condo high-rise tower would be approved for long term stability in the region.

The luxurious North Vancouver Observatory Condo Apartment Homes are now available in the condo resale property market as well as for rental apartmentsThe North Shore Observatory Where Views of Grouse Mountain and the Downtown Skyline are Limitless
Against the dramatic backdrop of the majestic North Shore mountains, The Observatory North Vancouver condo tower stands tall - like a new world beacon. Lean and elegant architecture of colonnades and curves rising twenty-nine stories in the Lower Lonsdale real estate district - a lookout from sea to sky over a shining Pacific Jewel. For residents at the North Shore Observatory, you can see Grouse Mountain and the other North Shore mountains from your living room. Or for those Observatory homes facing south, you have unprecedented unparalleled views of the water, downtown skyline, Lion’s Gate Bridge and beyond. Today, The Observatory in North Vancouver stands two hundred and eighty feet in height and remains the tallest building of any sort in Lower Lonsdale North Shore. Featuring luxurious condo suites and residences, the Grouse Mountain Observatory condominium homes are truly a step above the rest when it comes to construction, style, space and location. On the 100-block of West 2nd Street, you are just two blocks up from the Lonsdale Quay and the SeaBus as well as all the local amenities and conveniences of Lower Lonsdale real estate. Currently, the Observatory Penthouse suite is listed on the North Vancouver resale market by Soprovich. North Vancouver’s finest penthouse available in Lower Lonsdale is at the Observatory with views of Grouse Mountain and beyond. An International Penthouse – a condo home featuring a spectacular 280 degree city and ocean view of Greater Vancouver, the Inner Harbour, and mountain skyline including the Grouse Mountain Observatory! Beautifully appointed, this gorgeous Lower Lonsdale penthouse suite offers multi-patios look-out door garden patio of 600 square feet, roof top bubbling hot tub, air conditioning, 3 spacious bedrooms, including a stunning master and ensuite, 3 parking stalls in a secured underground parking garage. In addition, the Observatory Penthouse suite in North Vancouver resale real estate market features top quality finishings and details throughout. Extremely elegant, this Penthouse at the Observatory North Shore is multi-leveled and requires 12 hours notice for showings. Simply Stunning! This Observatory Penthouse condo features three beds and three baths with 2 gas fireplaces, three levels and 2310 sf of interior space.

Problems with the Building Envelope at the North Shore Observatory
[4] This litigation involves what has become known in the vernacular as “leaky condo” litigation. The Observatory condo building (“the Observatory”) is a 73 unit, 26 floor high rise residential strata development located at 120 West Second Street, North Vancouver, B.C. The North Shore Observatory suffers from a progressive and ongoing building envelope failure due to exterior water ingress. The original developer was Cressey Developments. It, along with its affiliate A.M. Fifteen Holdings Ltd., built the Observatory condominiums in about 1989 and 1990 and over the next several years the 73 strata lots condominiums were sold.
[5] The action was originally commenced by the plaintiff owners against Cressey Developments, the architects and a mechanical consultant. Additional parties, including ITS, were subsequently joined as defendants. Ultimately Cressey third partied ITS seeking contribution and indemnity in relation to the direct claims made against it by The Observatory condo residences in Lower Lonsdale North Vancouver real estate. The owner retained Halsall Associates Limited (“Halsall”) to conduct an investigation of the exterior building envelope of the Observatory North Shore.
[6] In November 2000 Halsall issued its report where it identified deficiencies in the North Shore Observatory condo building envelope including the exterior cladding comprising of exterior insulation finish system (“EIFS”), which it opined permitted water ingress to the building’s interior.
[7] As a result of its investigations, Halsall recommended, and the Observatory North Vancouver condo home owners agreed, to proceed with a progressive repair of the building envelope, including initial repairs to the EIFS cladding. These initial repairs were completed at the Observatory high-rise tower. To date the plaintiff owners have incurred some $860,000.00 in remediation costs to the building and anticipate future renovation costs of some $3.5 million.
[8] This action is presently under case management and set to proceed to an eight week trial commencing October 18, 2004.
[9] ITS became involved in the construction of the Observatory condos on the North Shore Lower Lonsdale district in December 1989. The degree of its involvement and the extent of its responsibilities assumed in that involvement is a question that must be able to be determined on the evidence before me if the applicant is to succeed in its motion for judgment. ITS says it had a limited retainer and that it only played a small part in the Observatory condo construction project. To conduct ongoing quality audits at the Observatory Project at 120 West 2nd in North Vancouver, B.C. The purpose of the audits is to determine that the Exterior Insulation Finish System (EIFS) is being applied as per the manufacturer's installation instructions and as it was when tested for Full Scale Fire Resistance. Approximately one audit will be required per week, depending on the weather conditions at a two or three hours per audit. ($150.00 - $225.00 per audit.)