The sis­ters never dreamt of this

For­mer con­vent site puts on glitz

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

De­spite the re­cent Arc­tic weather, streams of buy­ers and the cu­ri­ous braved the chill to visit Ashcroft’s Q West model suite at the con­tro­ver­sial Sis­ters of the Visi­ta­tion site in West­boro.

The pro­ject, cre­ated along with award-win­ning ar­chi­tect Rod La­hey and 2H In­te­rior De­sign, is akin to a vil­lage within a vil­lage, with green space, shop­ping and court­yards for out­door events.

“It’s go­ing to be very fes­tive here,” says Ashcroft mar­ket­ing and sales con­sul­tant Marnie Bennett, of Bennett Real Es­tate Pro­fes­sion­als. “It’s a life­style that you’re buy­ing. It’s not just a floor plan.”

If you’re won­der­ing why “Q” West, it’s not a cutesy play on Key West, Florida. Its rel­e­vance is con­nected to a Q-shaped path­way in­side the con­vent grounds where the clois­tered nuns qui­etly walked for years. It was aptly called “The Sis­ters’ Walk.”

Their spir­i­tual life of prayer was in stark con­trast to the life­style Ashcroft has brew­ing for its res­i­dents where, by next year, young pro­fes­sion­als, boomers and re­tirees will be en­joy­ing the same walk.

Only this time, in­stead of peace­ful soli­tude, there may be a buzz of res­i­dents power walk­ing, push­ing strollers, or pos­si­bly dash­ing to the on­site spa for a lux­u­ri­ous treat­ment.

An­other con­trast is the cost to live in this dy­namic com­mu­nity.

While nuns lived on very lit­tle, buy­ers will be pay­ing at least $450 per square foot to call Q West home, which the sales team says is “compa- rable” to other new con­dos in the city.

Ex­tras in­clude un­der­ground park­ing at $29,900 a spot and base­ment lock­ers at $3,500.

The build­ing, de­signed in a grad­u­ated style, will be sold in three phases.

The first re­lease has 102 units and they have been well-re­ceived by buy­ers, says Bennett.

“We had down­siz­ers com­ing in from the West­boro area and they were very, very pos­i­tive,” says Bennett. “They loved the idea that we showed how they can in­te­grate the dif­fer­ent (in­te­rior de­sign) styles.”

Con­struc­tion of the nine­storey condo is ex­pected to be­gin this fall, with an es­ti­mated move-in date of late 2012. Ashcroft bought the 2.2-hectare for­mer con­vent site, with plans to build con­dos and a se­niors’ res­i­dence on the shel­tered grounds.

Plans are still pre­lim­i­nary, but the pre­served her­itage build­ing may in­clude an up­scale restau­rant, a wine bar and spa.

Res­i­dents will also have ac­cess to stores, a gym, theatre, games and a party room via un­der­ground walk­ways con­nect­ing the new build­ings.

The model suite is a tempt­ing sam­pling of what Ashcroft plans to build in the first phase of the multi-build­ing pro­ject.

“It’s a ver­sion of a par­tic­u­lar lay­out,” says Bennett. “It shows the level of fin­ish­ings avail­able.”

The condo lobby will fea­ture soar­ing 20-foot ceil­ings, and a blend of or­ganic and mod­ern de­sign with wood and stain­less steel and stylish light­ing treat­ments.

2H De­sign has come up with three de­sign pack­ages for buy­ers.

All pack­ages in­clude preengi­neered hard­wood floor­ing, quartz coun­ter­tops in the kitchen, and, for a lim­ited time, stain­less steel ap­pli­ances.

One pack­age is mod­ern with light cab­i­nets, an­other is tra­di­tional with wood cab­i­nets, and the third is a blend of the two.

The one-bed­room model suite at 108 Rich­mond Rd., shows the third, eclec­tic op­tion, de­tail­ing how buy­ers — mostly young couples and down­siz­ers — can in­cor­po­rate their trea­sured heir­loom pieces into a mod­ern liv­ing space.

When you walk into the model, the first im­pres­sion is of how a mix of tra­di­tional and mod­ern trans­lates into el­e­gance.

There is dark hard­wood, creamy nougat coun­ter­tops and nine-foot ceil­ings.

A chan­de­lier with smoky crys­tals hangs over the glass kitchen ta­ble, which sep­a­rates the open-con­cept kitchen and liv­ing area.

A glass door off the liv­ing room opens up to a 50-square­foot bal­cony that can com­fort­ably fit an out­door din­ing ta­ble.

“We have re­ally em­pha­sized large ter­races be­cause it’s nice to have out­door liv­ing space and have the op­por­tu­nity to make it like a din­ing room,” says Bennett.

For more out­side liv­ing op­tions, res­i­dents will be able to head up to the rooftop ter­race and en­joy the out­door kitchen and din­ing room ar­eas, as well as the out­door re­lax­ation lounge and a hot tub.

An­i­mal lovers will ap­pre­ci­ate the pet spas in the base­ment; and res­i­dents will en­joy the con­ve­nience of a vir­tual concierge ser­vice that will of­fer ev­ery­thing from dog walk­ing and take­out to dry clean­ing ser­vice to main­te­nance ser­vice.

The bath­rooms fea­ture over­sized show­ers with con­tem­po­rary chrome ac­ces­sories, soaker tubs and pot light­ing.

And the ul­tra­vi­o­let-pro­tected, en­ergy-efficient win­dows in the model are true to size.

“The win­dows that are there now are very large. They are prac­ti­cally floor to ceil­ing, wall to wall,” says Bennett.

The build­ing will in­cor­po­rate the for­mer con­vent’s car­riage­way cov­ers, and the en­tire com­mu­nity-liv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence will be en­hanced by the cen­tral court­yard, in keep­ing with the prop­erty’s her­itage roots.

“In the win­ter, you can skate along (the path­way), have pic­nics in the sum­mer, or just go for a walk,” says Bennett. “We are try­ing to main­tain a lot of the her­itage com­po­nents and the in­ter­est that was there.”

A model of the Q West condo de­vel­op­ment on the Sis­ters of the Visi­ta­tion site in Ot­tawa.

The pro­ject will of­fer hard­wood floor­ing in all units.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.