Car el­e­va­tor gives condo ‘cool’ fac­tor

Park­ing spa­ces come at a pre­mium in Vic­to­ria

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

What does lit­tle ol’ Vic­to­ria have in com­mon with much big­ger, more densely pop­u­lated cities like New York, Chicago, Pitts­burgh, and even Van­cou­ver?

Not much right now, per­haps, but by the fall of 2012, Vic­to­ria will have a res­i­den­tial build­ing with a car el­e­va­tor, just like you’d find in cities where space is at a pre­mium and real es­tate is priced ac­cord­ingly.

Space — or the lack of it — is what’s be­hind Vic­to­ria’s en­try into the carel­e­va­tor world, as well.

The Sov­er­eign, which will have 36 homes, is be­ing built on a for­mer park­ing lot that’s just 92 feet by 104 feet.

“One hun­dred and 20 feet is kind of a magic di­men­sion for park­ing and we don’t have that,” says ar­chi­tect Bill Reid, of Mus­son Cat­tell Mackey Part­ner­ship. “So right off the bat, we’re too small and there­fore in­ef­fi­cient.”

But Reid says the project’s de­vel­oper — Chard Devel­op­ment — was able to “take a neg­a­tive and turn it into a pos­i­tive.”

In­stead of build­ing a ramp that would have taken up so much of the avail­able space they “might get six cars on a floor,” Chard opted to in­stall two car el­e­va­tors. “So this was re­ally a way of get­ting our park­ing into a tight floor area.”

Even though car el­e­va­tors are not cheap — “they get up into the six fig­ures, 100 grand, quite eas­ily,” says Reid — they’re cheaper than blast­ing and drilling in a city like Vic­to­ria, which sits on lots of rock.

“It’s an ex­pen­sive place to build an un­der­ground park­ing garage, so any­thing we can do to min­i­mize the ex­tent of the garage is a pay­back.”

With­out the need for a ramp, park­ing spa­ces for the build­ing can be con­tained on four floors; two be­low ground level, one above, and the ground floor it­self.

But aside from the prac­ti­cal­i­ties for the de­vel­oper, a car el­e­va­tor is a “cool” fac­tor for buy­ers, ad­mits Reid. “It’s kind of ex­clu­sive. That’s not why we’re do­ing it, but it’s kind of neat, it has a cer­tain ap­peal.”

Roy and Gla­dys Abrams think so. The Vic­to­ria cou­ple were among the first to pur­chase a condo in The Sov­er­eign when pre-sales opened in midMay.

Gla­dys Abrams says the car el­e­va­tor “is a brag­ging right for us,” not­ing it’s in­no­va­tive and also very “green”, since less space is wasted on park­ing.

The liv­ing area in one of the suites.

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