A Langley-based developer is looking to change the condo shopping experience in Port Moody. By not even selling condos.
Marcon has converted the former sales centre at 3001 St. Johns St. for its George and Will condo and townhouse projects to Outpost, a pop-up community hub where people can meet for coffee, craft beer, learn about unique local products, listen to live music, get some work done or just hang out.
While a portion of the site will eventually be used to market the developer’s next project in the city, Hue, the reimagined sales space is really about community, said Marcon’s brand partnerships and event manager, Mandy Yacoub.
She said people in the market for a new home are tiring of talking to sales people and touring mocked-up model suites.
“It’s reinventing the sales centre,” Yacoub said. “There’s fatigue in the market so we have to make it interesting and different.”
Community hub is a pilot project
The Outpost in Port Moody is the company’s first stab at changing things up. It’s expected to operate for at least a year, then the concept will move on to other cities around Metro Vancouver.
The 2,200 sq. ft. space evokes the look and feel of a high-end airport lounge where travellers relax and recharge between flights. Its centrepiece is a fully-equipped barista station and craft brewery bar featuring coffee, sandwiches and pastries created and sold by Vancouver’s Timbertrain Coffee Roasters and a selection of beers from North Point Brewing in North Vancouver that’s also crafted a special Good Company IPA collaboration with Port Moody’s five resident craft brewers just for the pop-up.
At the entrance, and along some of the warm wood walls, are curated displays of lifestyle products, like olive oils and balsamic vinegars from Port Moody’s own Olive the Best, towels and robes from the Tofino Towel Compay, wellness products from Tallu & Co, fine goods and flowers from Elderberry Floral, which is just down the street, as well as skincare items from The Wilds Skincare.
One corner has been devoted to Vancouver Run Company, which will lead running groups into surrounding neighbourhoods.
Local products and merchants on display
Yacoub said all of the products are local, or from British Columbia purveyors. And while visitors won’t be able to buy them directly on site, each display is accompanied by an information card and QR code that links directly to the merchant's website.
“Our intention is to really promote local businesses.”
Along with several work stations that have electrical outlets and robust WiFi connections, there’s soft corner couches, chairs, padded benches and tables for gathering, as well as a selection of board games.
Live music and trivia contests
Out back, cloistered from the adjacent parking lot and passing traffic by tall shrubbery and planters, is a 1,200 sq. ft. patio that will feature live music every Thursday night as well as trivia contests. Other programming in the planning stages include visits from food trucks and a farmer’s market.
Local community groups and charitable organizations will also be able to access the space for their event.
It’s all about cultivating community, said Nic Paolella, Marcon’s vice-president of development, in a press release.
“We want to go beyond just developing buildings to developing vibrant and exciting foundations and futures for local businesses, residents and visitors alike.”
Outpost officially opens June 11. For more information, check out its website at outpost.ca.