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