Buyers get chance to live in history
The Hudson complex in Victoria, B.C., created from old Hudson’s Bay store
and f it into its surroundings,” says Chris Colbeck, vice-president of sales and marketing. “By restoring where appropriate and re-adapting as practical, the goal for the renewal was to ultimately maximize value for the residents, the building, itself, and the community in which it sits.”
The iconic building was opened for business in 1921 by the Hudson’s Bay Co., which was founded by English royal charter in 1670.
As a fur trade empire and the oldest company in North America, it controlled about one 12th the land mass of the Earth — an area from Labrador to the Pacif ic, including most of what is now Western Canada — through a range of trading posts and forts, even printing its own money in the 19th century.
Victoria, itself, was started in 1843 by the company as a fur trading post and fort.
After the founding of Canada in 1867 and the settlement of the West, the company gradually concentrated on retail, building a chain of stores across the country that included what is now The Hudson.
The original design of the building is somewhat similar to that of the Bay’s current flagship store in downtown Calgary, which was built on Stephen Avenue Walk circa the First World War.
As part of the renovation by the Townline Group of Companies, The Hudson was stripped back to its shell, with two more floors added to the original four.
The structure was also reengineered to meet seismic requirements.
By 2010, the property had morphed into 152 loft condominiums and residences.
Nearly 70 per cent of the building has been sold, except for 18 penthouses that have not yet been brought to the market.
Still to sell are a handful of flats and about 20 lofts.
Flats are between 560 and 1,190 square feet, with the two-level lofts running from
C MVisit our website under the heading, ‘Rec Properties,’ for more photo galleries and stories. 750 to 1, 435 square feet and the penthouses from 1,075 to 1,379 square feet.
The suites are impressive, with floor-to-ceiling windows, Douglas f ir cabinets, bathrooms with heated tile floors and surrounds, and kitchens with topline appliances.
But The Hudson is more than just looks — it’s green.
The building has a rainwater management system, built-in kitchen recycling cabinets, and salvaged building materials to reduce impact on local landf ills.
Prices start at $304,900 for a one-bed /one-bath residence, and from $419,900 for two bed /two baths.
No prices have been f inalized for penthouses.
Sitting atop the penthouses is a 14,000-square-foot rooftop patio with mountain, harbour and downtown views.
“When the opportunity arose to become involved with perhaps the most historically signif icant heritage re-adaptation in British Columbia, we were thrilled,” says Colbeck. “It was a chance to no only breathe new life into the building, itself, but into the surrounding uptown Victoria community.”
The Hudson borders Old Town Victoria and Chinatown and is a few minutes’ drive away from the inner harbour.
About 70 per cent of buyers are f irst-timers and those attracted by the downtown lifestyle, says the company, with the remaining 30 per cent consisting of second-home buyers, newly single people and investors.
“The Hudson is for quintessential individualists looking for something unique, limited and unusual,” says Colbeck. “They love the combination of an exterior heritage facade and a modern interior with sleek, high-end appliances and f inishes, and a convenient location.”
For residents and potential buyers, The Hudson of- fers an opportunity to live surrounded by modern-day sophistication wrapped in history.
“What sets the building apart from others is that it is a signif icant piece of Canadian history and was instrumental in the founding of Victoria and the birth of Canada as a whole,” says Colbeck.
A large show suite in The Hudson, which consists of homes built within a renovated Hudson’s Bay Co. store in Victoria, B.C., dating back to 1921.