Bound­aries ‘pushed’ at The Edge in B.C.

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

With their but­ter­fly roofs, three sides of soar­ing win­dows and tri­an­gu­lar ledge stone col­umns, The Edge town­houses are eas­ily the most dra­matic de­vel­op­ment at Big White Ski Re­sort near Kelowna, B.C.

“We wanted to do some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent and push the bound­aries with The Edge — and we did that in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion,” says de­vel­oper Christo­pher Sher­riff, his Bri­tish ac­cent adding a classy air to the tour of this new de­vel­op­ment east of Kelowna.

“Where else will you find Frank Lloyd Wright-in­spired ar­chi­tec­ture on a ski hill? I don’t think any­where else in the world.”

The very fact that there’s noth­ing tra­di­tion­ally alpine about The Edge makes it a ski re­sort hit.

“The (Lara’s) Gon­dola cuts right through the de­vel­op­ment, so ev­ery­one sees them and talks about them,” says Sher­riff, who is the pres­i­dent of Solido Group. “We’ve also been ap­proached by de­vel­op­ers from Ja­pan and Switzer­land who want to copy it.”

As stun­ning and pi­o­neer­ing as The Edge is, it hasn’t been easy to sell them, says Sher­riff.

“They sold well in the eco­nomic boom three and four years ago,” he says.

“But the mar­ket — es­pe­cially the high-end mar­ket — has been flat for the past two years. How­ever, the lux­ury mar­ket is com­ing back and we’re well po­si­tioned to take ad­van­tage of that.

“Pre­vi­ously we con­cen­trated on U.K. buy­ers be­cause I’m Bri­tish and the ex­change rate for them was so good a few years ago. Now the ex­change is ter­ri­ble for them, so we’re tar­get­ing Al­ber­tans, Toron­to­ni­ans and Aus­tralians.”

Big White is owned by Aus­tralians and the re­sort is heav­ily mar­keted there.

Of the 16 town­houses com­pleted at The Edge, 12 are sold, leav­ing the re­main­ing four, with three com­ing to com­ple­tion for sale.

Start­ing at three lev­els, 2,200 square feet and $1.2 mil­lion, these are the type of units that can only be pur­chased by a mon­eyed few skiers, in­vestors and sec­ond-home buy­ers.

“There are no price blowouts at The Edge,” says Sher­riff.

“We’ve kept the in­tegrity of the pric­ing. In fact, we’ve ac­tu­ally in­creased pric­ing be­cause con­struc­tion was so ex­pen­sive.

“The long-term value of these homes is sub­stan­tial, and the rental rates you can get on them is great.”

Own­ers who have their town­houses in the rental pool can fetch $600 to $1,200 per night. One big unit pulled in $27,000 dur­ing two weeks dur­ing the peak Christ­mas-New Year’s hol­i­days.

The prici­est home for sale is No. 9: a 4,000-square-foot, four-level, fourbed­room beauty for sale at $2.5 mil­lion.

With four lev­els, it even has its own el­e­va­tor, bil­liards room, home theatre and wine cel­lar.

The great room is a wide-open space with floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows stretch­ing to the room’s full, 26-foot height on three sides.

The room juts out of the build­ing to give the im­pres­sion of be­ing sus­pended in the air.

“The win­dows are so big that we had to go with a com­mer­cial brand called Kawneer out of Cal­gary,” says Sher­riff.

“They also have a com­mer­cial look be­cause they are framed in black alu­minum.”

The in­dus­trial vibe goes well with the ex­posed black steel struc­tural beams, light ash wood floors, min­i­mal mod­ern fur­ni­ture and sleek black gas fire­place.

The ad­join­ing kitchen has black gran­ite coun­ter­tops, stain­less steel back­splash and ap­pli­ances and black wood cab­i­nets from, iron­i­cally, IKEA — the Swedish chain store that’s known for its stylish but in­ex­pen­sive fur­nish­ings.

The mas­ter suite on the mez­za­nine also seems to float in the air, with its glass wall to the great room be­low and back wall of glass onto a bal­cony with hot tub and view to the ski slope be­yond.

“An­other great thing about The Edge is all the units are ski-in, ski-out. The ski run is right there,” says Sher­riff.

Ex­te­ri­ors fea­ture a but­ter­fly roof, rock col­umns and mas­sive win­dows.

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