Swipe of elec­tronic card to un­lock buyer ben­e­fits

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos -

What if you could step out of your posh down­town con­do­minium and, with the swipe of an elec­tronic pass card, gain free or dis­counted ac­cess to fit­ness fa­cil­i­ties, li­braries and art gal­leries within walk­ing dis­tance of home?

That’s what res­i­dents of a new four-storey se­niors’ condo planned for 105th Av­enue near 110th Street in Ed­mon­ton can ex­pect, says Greg Chris­ten­son, pres­i­dent of Chris­ten­son De­vel­op­ments.

The build­ing, named Fifth Av­enue, is sched­uled to open in 2012. There are also plans to build a high­rise, aimed at ac­tive adults, next door.

Fifth Av­enue will in­clude such ameni­ties as a din­ing room, the­atre, car­pen­try and craft shops and an ex­er­cise room.

Sev­eral floors will be de­voted to Des­ig­nated As­sisted Liv­ing suites for peo­ple who need some med­i­cal care, but still want to re­main in their own homes.

The build­ing will also have round-the-clock nurs­ing staff avail­able to all res­i­dents.

What sets this project apart from many down­town con­dos is the re­la­tion­ship Chris­ten­son has forged with sur­round­ing in­sti­tu­tions, in par­tic­u­lar, nearby Grant MacEwan Uni­ver­sity.

The cam­pus, lo­cated just north of the Fifth Av­enue build­ing, is to re­name its sports fa­cil­ity the Chris­ten­son Fam­ily Sport and Well­ness Cen­tre. Even­tu­ally, condo res­i­dents will get group dis­counts there.

Chris­ten­son be­lieves the link be­tween his com­pany and the uni­ver­sity is just one ex­am­ple of how part­ner­ing with busi­nesses and pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions can give down­town res­i­dents ac­cess to a whole menu of ser­vices and at­trac­tions out­side their build­ing.

“I guess you could say we’d like to be a role model for how you cap­i­tal­ize on the ameni­ties of down­town and how you make them in­ter­ac­tive,” he says.

Be­sides MacEwan, Chris­ten­son has also do­nated to the new Art Gallery of Al­berta. He hopes to give his clients half-price mem­ber­ships to the gallery.

The idea of con­nect­ing res­i­dents to ameni­ties and ser­vices near their homes is a trade­mark of many Chris­ten­son ag­ing-in-place projects.

Res­i­dents of Ci­tadel Vil­lage in St. Al­bert get mem­ber­ships to their city’s big multi-pur­pose leisure cen­tre, Servus Credit Union Place.

Peo­ple who live in Rail­town on the north edge of down­town use MacEwan’s ex­er­cise fa­cil­i­ties. Those in Devon­shire Vil­lage, in the city’s south­west, have ac­cess to a nearby YMCA.

In Bedford Vil­lage, part of Chris­ten­son’s Cen­tre in the Park project in Sher­wood Park, a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar com­mu­nity cen­tre is be­ing built by Strath­cona County. It will house a pub­lic li­brary, coun­cil cham­bers and a cen­tral glassedin court­yard.

Chris­ten­son has also been one of the lead­ing pro­po­nents for the con­struc­tion of lin­ear walk­ways to make the down­town pedes­trian-friendly.

“I’d like to see bet­ter con­nec­tiv­ity if you want to have a walk­a­ble down­town. ... For $100 mil­lion, you could put a whole walk­way sys­tem in down­town Ed­mon­ton. ... This would ben­e­fit all the de­vel­op­ers down­town and all the prop­erty own­ers.”

It all helps to get peo­ple out of their homes and into the com­mu­nity.

“That’s one of the chal­lenges in liv­ing in one of these re­tire­ment com­mu­ni­ties,” he says. “They may be beau­ti­ful, but for in­stance, the golf course may be a beau­ti­ful place to eat, but I don’t want to eat there ev­ery day. ... You get tired of run­ning into the same 22 peo­ple.”

Fifth Av­enue suites range from about $280,000 to $300,000 and are avail­able as life-lease pur­chases.

That means res­i­dents buy an in­ter­est in both the prop­erty and their suite, sim­i­lar to pur­chas­ing a home or con­do­minium. Ac­tual own­er­ship and ti­tle of the prop­erty re­mains with the com­pany.

Res­i­dents have ex­clu­sive use of their suites and shared use of all com­mon ar­eas and fa­cil­i­ties. Monthly fees, sim­i­lar to condo fees, are paid by res­i­dents to cover such costs as build­ing main­te­nance, in­surance and up­keep.

If a res­i­dent or their es­tate wishes to sell, much of the pur­chase price is re­funded.

In his Fifth Av­enue build­ing, Chris­ten­son has once again de­signed suites that can be con­verted to smaller units down the road.

“You’d buy the whole unit for $300,000 and if you want to down­size, you get $150,000 back. ... So it works well where cou­ples come in and then they down­size to a sin­gle per­son.”

Norm Mross, pres­i­dent of Trico Homes: ‘Strong com­mit­ment to cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity.’ BUILDER GETS NA­TIONAL HON­OUR

Greg Chris­ten­son, pres­i­dent of Chris­ten­son De­vel­op­ments.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.