Buy­ers get chance to live in his­tory

The Hud­son com­plex in Vic­to­ria, B.C., cre­ated from old Hud­son’s Bay store

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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.

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