New home presentation centre moves location – literally

Rather than demolish sales centre to make way for new tower, developer moves entire building to a different spot

Many of us have seen photos of whole homes being lifted onto a trailer and moved via truck to a new site, to save them being demolished. But today might have been first time in the region’s history that this has happened to an entire home sales and presentation centre – albeit at a snail’s pace.

North Vancouver developer Denna Homes set themselves the challenging task when it became time for its Seylynn Village presentation centre to be moved, to make way for the project’s third tower Apex.

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Rather than demolish the building that had been the developer’s sales centre for six years and set up a new centre, Denna Homes decided to move the whole building via truck to another part of the site, less than 1km away.

The move started around lunchtime, Monday September 24, and is underway at the time of publication. It is expected to take eight hours to move the 420,000-pound, 186-foot-long building a mere 800 metres, travelling very carefully at 0.1km per hour.

The building is 75 feet wide at its maximum, but has a narrower section of 24 feet wide, making it a very difficult structure to secure to the trailer. The movers also have to negotiate a 90-degree turn towards the end of the journey, before parallel-parking the building at its new home.

House-moving company Nickel Bros, known for its experience relocating whole houses, has been hired to move the centre. Ponte Bros Contracting was contracted to create a purpose-built road for the project, creating the most direct path possible and ensuring no public roads are affected during the move. ITC Construction Group is the general contractor overseeing the overall move and the refinishing of the building at its new site.

Denna Homes said that in total, it is expected to take more than 6,000 person-hours to prep and move the building. It added that with exception of the foundations, 99 per cent of the building and mechanical systems will be preserved.

The developer also stated that it is costing an extra $1.5 million to take this approach, rather than demolish the building and set up a new centre. However, the company said that “the decision to relocate the building is in keeping with Denna Homes’ core belief of providing great value in all we do.”

Denna Homes partner Dr. Abo Tehari said in a statement, “Our goal is to value-engineer every decision in a way that makes our community better, not simply cheaper to produce… Simply disposing of the old presentation centre would have been easier and less costly, but is not in keeping with our desire to be a good community leader.”

When the relocated sales centre is back up and running following its move, Denna Homes said it expects to use it for at least another three or four years while sales continue on the next phase of Seylynn Village.

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