Surrey may be the second-largest city in British Columbia, but it's also now home to the smallest condos in the country.
On Monday, Surrey city council approved the construction of Canada's smallest real estate. The development company, Tien Sher, was given the green light to construct 56 condos – ranging in size from 290 square feet to 653 square feet – at Whalley Boulevard and Grosvenor Road. The condos will be part of a four-story wood-frame building called Balance.
"Getting through council and giving us their blessing was definitely the major hurdle," said a spokesman for Tien Sher.
Most of the suites will be about 305 square feet and start around $109,000. The condos are expected to go on sale by the end of this year, with construction starting in early 2013.
"The final date hasn't been determined because we still have to go through the building permit process," said the spokesman.
The homes are aimed at first-time home buyers whose annual salaries are between $22,000 and $55,000. The down payment for each condo is about $6,000.
"We're really looking for the working class people who are renting and trying to get into their first home," said the spokesman. "This is really going to give them an opportunity to get into the market."
Each will contain five stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors and a balcony. Parking stalls will be available for purchase and a car-share vehicle will be onsite.
While micro condos have proven to be viable additions to housing markets in New York, Tokyo and Paris, Balance will be the first project to gauge their popularity in Canada. Surrey attracts about 1,000 new residents per month.
"This is obviously a little bit of an experiment to see what kind of result we get out of this," said the spokesman. "If this is successful, I don't see any reason why we can't pop a few more up in different areas."