Fuse lit for river lifestyle
Pulse to launch in May as part of rejuvenation of East Village
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.
Michael Wright in the kitchen of the show suite for Evolution by Embassy Bosa. He bought a two-bedroom-plus-den condo.
Large windows capture the views in a bedroom in a show suite.
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.
Natalie Bosa of Embassy Bosa and Fred Serrafero of FRAM Building Group near a model of East Village.