Fuse lit for river life­style

Pulse to launch in May as part of re­ju­ve­na­tion of East Vil­lage

Calgary Herald New Condos - - Front Page -

Michael Wright was on a tour of his­toric places in East Vil­lage when he first learned what the city had planned for the area, one of Calgary’s old­est down­town dis­tricts.

The once down-at-the-heel com­mu­nity, near City Hall, dates back to the late 19th cen­tury fol­low­ing the found­ing of nearby Fort Calgary in 1875.

Af­ter decades of stalled ef­forts to re­vamp the his­toric area, new in­fra­struc­ture and con­dos are fi­nally breath­ing fresh life into East Vil­lage.

Since 2007, the city has com­mit­ted $150 mil­lion in up­grades. When Wright first vis­ited the area, some of the in­fra­struc­ture was in the ground, but there was plenty more still on the way.

One of the up­grades is a 1.5-kilo­me­tre path­way sys­tem next to the Bow and El­bow Rivers called the River­Walk.

“I was im­pressed with the way the city has made a de­ci­sion to take ad­van­tage of the river,” says Wright, who re­cently bought a condo in one of two ma­jor projects in East Vil­lage.

Lo­cated in River­Walk, Wright’s unit is in the Evo­lu­tion com­plex by B.C.-based de­vel­oper Em­bassy Bosa. The other condo pro­ject slated for East Vil­lage is First by FRAM+Slokker.

“I have been look­ing off and on at the pos­si­bil­ity of mov­ing into a condo for a num­ber of years,” says Wright, who is a re­tired school teacher. “I was just wait­ing un­til the lo­ca­tion, tim­ing and ev­ery­thing fell into place.”

In 2007, the City of Calgary com­mis­sioned its de­vel­op­ment arm, Calgary Mu­nic­i­pal Land Corp. (CMLC), to roll out a re­vi­tal­iza­tion plan for the city’s Rivers Dis­trict Com­mu­nity.

This in­cludes East Vil­lage, as well as a slate of en­hance­ments to nearby St. Pa­trick’s Is­land and the trans­for­ma­tion of the King Ed­ward Ho­tel into part of the Can­tos Mu­sic Foun­da­tion’s new National Mu­sic Cen­tre.

All the ac­tiv­ity wasn’t lost on Wright, who is a fan of the idea of be­ing a short walk away from live mu­sic and other kinds of art, such as live theatre at the Ep­cor Cen­tre for the Per­form­ing Arts.

“I think it will be a vi­brant area and the fact the re­de­vel­op­ment is in­tro­duc­ing cit­i­zens to the area again is a pretty ex­cit­ing ven­ture,” he says.

He also likes that the East Vil­lage plan puts a num­ber of shops and ser­vices near res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment.

“The rea­son I looked at con­dos in the first place was be­cause I wanted to live in an area where I could walk to get gro­ceries and not be so de­pen­dent on my car,” says Wright.

“I have the op­por­tu­nity to step out­side my front door and go for a walk in a beau­ti­ful area that was de­signed for pedes­tri­ans.”

Wright bought a two-bed­room-plus-den condo apart­ment in Fuse, which is the first phase of Evo­lu­tion.

It’s a 21-storey tower that is now more than 70 per cent sold.

His apart­ment looks over the Bow River. “To say that you pur­chased a condo with a river view in Calgary, it’s kind of un­usual to say the least and pretty ex­cit­ing,” says Wright.

From the out­side, it also makes an im­pres­sion.

“I like the ex­te­rior look of the build­ing be­cause it’s not just a flat square box — it’s got some in­ter­est­ing an­gles. I think it’s go­ing to be an ad­di­tion to the ar­chi­tec­tural land­scape of the city,” he says.

Shov­els en­tered the ground on the con­struc­tion of Fuse in Septem­ber and first pos­ses­sions are ex­pected for late 2014.

Sales on the sec­ond phase of Evo­lu­tion are ex­pected to launch in late May for a 31-storey tower called Pulse, which is the largest tower on the books for East Vil­lage.

It will in­clude 273 homes, which vice-pres­i­dent of sales and mar­ket­ing Robert Marc­hand ad­mits seems low for 31 floors.

But units are fewer and larger near the top of the tower. Marc­hand says the com­pany has heard of in­ter­est from buy­ers want­ing big­ger apart­ments.

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“When you head to the top por­tion of our build­ing, and not specif­i­cally in the pent­house or sub-pent­house prod­uct, you are go­ing to find homes that range on the small side from over 1,000 square feet for a two-bed­room unit all the way up to just over 1,400 square feet for a twobed­room-plus-den,” says Marc­hand.

Over­all, size is what sep­a­rates the first and sec­ond phase of Evo­lu­tion. Not only are the largest apart­ments big­ger, but the small­est con­dos start at 600 square feet.

Apart­ments in the pro­ject have a num­ber of eye-catch­ing stan­dard fea­tures, in­clud­ing wood-grain, ve­neer-lac­quered up­per cab­i­nets in the kitchen.

The room also has stain­less-steel ap­pli­ances, such as an un­der­mount sink, along with a slide-in gas range and an 18-cu­bic-foot fridge with french doors and a bot­tom drawer freezer.

The bath­rooms have heated floors, ce­ramic wall tile for the shower and bath­tub, a wood grain van­ity and a deep soaker tub.

Res­i­dents also have ac­cess to a so­cial lounge with a kitch­enette and pool ta­ble, concierge ser­vice and fit­ness room. Pulse is ex­pected to bol­ster its fit­ness room with a steam room, sauna and hisand-her’s change rooms.

Evo­lu­tion and First share a sales space called the East Vil­lage Ex­pe­ri­ence Cen­tre on 553 River­front Ave. S.E. CMLC also has a space in the build­ing where staff will an­swer ques­tions about the long-term plan for East Vil­lage.

Adrian Shel­lard/for the Calgary Her­ald

Michael Wright in the kitchen of the show suite for Evo­lu­tion by Em­bassy Bosa. He bought a two-bed­room-plus-den condo.

Calgary Her­ald/files

Large win­dows cap­ture the views in a bed­room in a show suite.

Adrian Shel­lard/for the Calgary Her­ald

Buyer Michael Wright in the show suite for Fuse, the first phase of the Evo­lu­tion condo com­plex in East Vil­lage. The sec­ond phase, Pulse, is to launch in May.

Calgary Her­ald/files

Natalie Bosa of Em­bassy Bosa and Fred Ser­rafero of FRAM Build­ing Group near a model of East Vil­lage.

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