Green-friendly project sets first

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Recreation & Investment Properties -

The Vic­to­ria Film Fes­ti­val was look­ing for a unique venue for this year’s open­ing gala — some­thing that would up­stage its pre­vi­ous galas.

Fes­ti­val di­rec­tor Kathy Kay says when they saw the atrium and lobby at the new Park­side Vic­to­ria Re­sort and Spa, they knew it would be per­fect.

“I loved the fur­ni­ture, the rock work and the ponds — it’s both serene and el­e­gant,” she says. “We got the best feed­back af­ter the open­ing gala and it’s go­ing to be hard to top it (next year).”

But it’s not just the atrium and lobby that are catch­ing peo­ple’s at­ten­tion.

Park­side Vic­to­ria is Canada’s first frac­tional own­er­ship prop­erty in an ur­ban set­ting — and also the first re­sort ho­tel in Canada to be built to LEED (Lead­er­ship in En­ergy and En­vi­ron­ment De­sign) plat­inum stan­dards, the high­est “green” build­ing rat­ing avail­able (the com­pany is still wait­ing for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.)

That’s not all. The fam­i­ly­owned prop­erty won two gold medals at this year’s Amer­i­can Re­sort Devel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion Con­ven­tion in Las Ve­gas.

Park­side took both the “re­sort de­sign” and “plan de­sign and uti­liza­tion” awards.

Jim Pearson, CEO of Avi­awest, the com­pany that de­vel­oped Park­side, was thrilled with the recog­ni­tion in Las Ve­gas.

“It’s re­ally quite sur­real to re­flect on where we have come from to where we are now,” he says. “To be a small fam­ily busi­ness through the fi­nan­cial cri­sis and to win these awards when we’re up against the best in the world is re­ally spe­cial.”

Avi­awest got its start in 1991 when Pearson’s par­ents pur­chased a camp­ground on a stretch of beach in Parksville and built six vacation homes on it. That devel­op­ment — Pa­cific Shores — is now al­most built out, with 108 units as well as some frac­tional own­er­ship.

Since then, the com­pany has added five other recre­ation prop­er­ties to its port­fo­lio of sec­ond homes, all in B.C. and most on Van­cou­ver Is­land, in­clud­ing Park­side Vic­to­ria, its new­est.

In late 2003, Avi­awest acquired the down­town park­ing lot that would be­come Park­side Vic­to­ria.

Pearson says it was a chal­leng­ing project be­cause the con­struc­tion in­dus­try was in high de­mand when the com­pany was ready to move for­ward.

“We couldn’t get peo­ple to even quote on build­ing cer­tain as­pects of the build­ing. We couldn’t get any­body to quote on the form­ing of the con­crete, they were just all too busy, had too much work.”

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