Sub-penthouse unit priced at $5.2 million gets extensive makeover
One Calgary condo puts an entirely new twist to the old adage about people who live in glass houses: They should have great views. And for $5.2 million, it’s all about another adage: Location! Location! Location!
The condo is located on the banks of the Bow River in tony Eau Claire — a 5,100-plus square foot, sub-penthouse suite that takes up the entire 14th floor of the building.
It includes more than 1,400 square feet of outdoor living on generous patios that curve around corners. Windows, too, curve around the end of the suite so owners have a 360-degree view of the city.
The glass building, constructed a decade ago, is spectacular on its own due to its rounded ends, adding a dramatic appeal to the downtown skyline.
Inside, The Point on the Bow offers an elegant lobby reminiscent of an indoor garden, with several seating areas throughout and a water feature.
A library, exercise room, party room, recreation area and indoor pool are just some of the building amenities.
The unit has secured, title parking underground with two stalls and a storage locker — and it has a private entry directly from two elevators. But it’s the suite upstairs that captures the imagination.
The home is on its second owner, says realtor Chris Zaharko, who has listed it for sale through his company, Royal LePage Foothills. “When the present owner bought the home three years ago, he hired two designers and had a complete renovation done on the interior that took six months or longer at a total cost of close to $1 million,” says Zaharko.
“Before, it was very traditional with white wool carpets and four or more bedrooms.”
The redesign included transforming the master suite into a large bedroom of 25 feet by 21 feet.
The bedroom has a fireplace — one of four in the home — and the ensuite includes a customized blown-glass window and oversized glass and tile steam shower, as well as a jetted tub. Another area has been dedicated to a full, customized gym where one of the other fireplaces is located.
The floor-to-ceiling tinted windows afford great views while homeowners are exercising. A fourpiece bath with a glass vessel sink and tiled shower is nearby.
The office, too, has spectacular views and extensive custom mill work, including 12-inch baseboards and crown molding. Cherry cabinets and granite countertops in a light off-white set off the kitchen.
A double-sided fireplace separates the large living room and dining room. The living room is 25 feet by 23 feet and the dining area more than 26 feet by 16 feet, four inches — the perfect space for entertaining in style.
But it’s the attention to detail that stands out. The home has several highlights designed by Barry W. Fairbairn, who has worked on some design features in the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas and Hotel Arts in Calgary.
A spectacular custom water feature at the entrance into the suite, and another in another part of the home, as well as a chandelier in the dining area are all his creations.
Imported Italian marble floors throughout have inlays of maple hardwood.
The Eau Claire renovation is one of $53 billion residential renovations across Canada, an estimate based on Statistics Canada data, says Altus Group Economic Con- sulting.
That followed a 10-year period of steady growth — but that could be the peak, it says.
“The economic recession is taking its toll on residential renovation spending,” says Altus. “However, the federal tax credit and lower interest rates than a year ago are expected to soften the blow leveled by the poor economy, job market and income declines.”
The government introduced the Home Renovation Tax Credit in its 2009 budget, which provides up to $1,350 in tax relief (on $10,000 in spending) to qualifying residential renovations undertaken before February 2010.
The government expects 4.6 million families to claim at least part of the tax credit.
The average MLS transaction in Canada generates about $15,000 in incremental renovation and repair spending within three years of purchase, says research by Altus Group for the Canadian Real Estate Association.
The latest renovation intentions from Altus Group’s quarterly survey show that the proportion of homeowners planning renovations of $5,000 or more has rebounded from a downward trend in 2008.
Even so, Altus Group expects renovation spending to decline in 2009, albeit modestly, from factors that include job losses and income adjustments.
It forecasts a decline of five per cent in real renovation spending in 2009 and a further decline in the two per cent range for 2010.
Even so, many people renovate once they move into a home. Still others renovate to make a home more appealing and up-to-date before they sell — and certain renovations will help sell a home, says a survey by Royal LePage last year.
“Amid today’s competitive real estate market, renovations offer a relatively affordable means to boost the value of a home,” says Lisa da Rocha, vice-president of marketing and sales for Royal LePage Real Estate Services. “Doit-yourself tasks such as painting walls, changing cupboard knobs or laying new flooring will make a house not only more appealing to buyers, but also offer a great return on investments.”
The survey explores “renovations that are intended to translate directly into enhanced equity in a property,” she says.
Amongst the do-it-yourself proj- ects, painting the interior at a total cost of about $1,000 is the most affordable and easiest freshener — and its return on investment is anywhere from 50 to 100 per cent, says the survey.
Replacing knobs and hardware was next at a total outlay of up to $2,000 and a return on investment of 75-to 100 per cent.
On the renovations of a larger scale which would need some help (such as hiring a renovator), all had the potential return on investment of 75 to 100 per cent, even through costs were much higher.
Installing an additional bathroom on the main floor, for example, would cost under $5,000, but would have a return of investment of 80 to 100 per cent because of its importance to future homebuyers.
A bathroom renovation of $5,000 to $8,000 would return 75 to 100 per cent of that money in home equity, and a kitchen renovation of $12,000 to $15,000 would result in the same return of investment.
For more information on the $5.2-million Eau Claire condo, visit www.zaharko.com.
The Point on the Bow in Eau Claire adds dramatic appeal to the downtown skyline.
The deck of the $5.2-million condo has a sweeping view of the city.
Huge windows are part of the modern design of the condo.