Amenities attract buyers
Everything from communal patios to concierge services part of projects
As features that boost the attractiveness of a piece of real estate, the value of amenities is all in the details — not to mention personal preferences.
When it comes to condos, an amenity can include a simple common space for entertaining guests, allowing residents to save money on smaller-sized units while having access to rooms or patios similar to those found in a larger single-family home.
An amenity such as a concierge service, on the other hand, aims to give a touch of luxury hotel living to a condo development.
But no matter whether the goal is affordability or enjoying an upscale lifestyle, the point of amenities is to help meet the needs of a given multi-family community.
Because amenities can add to the sale price, or to future monthly condo fees for operation and maintenance, buyers are conscious about the combination of amenities offered in a potential condo.
Peter Doelman. AGE: 31. BACKGROUND: Doelman is a lawyer who enjoys his walk to work downtown and lives an urban lifestyle. He found The Park meets his needs for a condo. He bought a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit in the development, which will be near Central Memorial Park in the inner-city Beltline area. He likes that certain amenities in the building offer the flexibility for socializing with larger groups of friends than could be accommodated in his own unit.
Lawyer Peter Doelman chanced on The Park, an 18-storey, 156-unit condo complex underway by Lake Placid Developments Inc., on his daily walk to work downtown through the Beltline.
He loved the vibe of the neighbourhood near Central Memorial Park, with its restaurants, health food stores and wine shops.
The fact the location is just a few blocks from work was important to the 31-year-old, who doesn’t own a car. When it comes to amenities, his needs are simple.
“I wasn’t really big on amenities because I have a 24-hour gym at work, but a gym is good to have in case I work somewhere different or for resale,” says Doelman, who bought a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit on the eighth floor of The Park complex.
“At other friends’ condos, I’ve had a really good time on their communal patios, so I like the fact that The Park has a big communal patio. That could be nice with a big group of friends.”
Guest suites are another amenity provided in condo developments, providing a place to put people up for the night — an important consideration for owners of the smaller units often offered by condo tower projects.
“I used to live in Vancouver before Calgary and in Vancouver, it’s really popular to have the suite that you can rent out for guests,” says Doelman. “I didn’t feel that was an extra cost to me as far as a condo cost — as a salary would be for a concierge — but it’s a really nice option. If I have guests, I’d like (them) to stay in the building.”
For more information on The Park, visit liveonthepark.com.
While Doelman prefers a more streamlined array of amenities, there is a wide variety of ideas on offer at tower condos in Calgary. Here’s a look at what some current projects have on offer for their residents:
3 Eau Claire
This striking building will offer a skylounge at the 41st floor that will act as a bridge between the two towers in the project.
Initially known as 3 Eau Claire, the development will be rebranded as the new Shaw Communications Inc. building later this year. It will offer 12 floors of office space in its podium, with the tallest of the two towers reaching 50 floors.
“The idea behind it is that everyone who lives in the building has bought a part of the penthouse amenity view,” says Andrew Lee of 3 Eau Claire.
“Our units are on the compact side. We always envisioned our units as a bedroom and your living room is on the 41st floor. You can bring your laptop there, have a cup of coffee, or if you have a visitor, you can bring your friends up there for a chat.”
Located in Eau Claire with its quick access to the Bow River as well as downtown, 3 Eau Claire will also have an exercise room.
Visit the website at 3eauclaire.ca for more information.
6th and Tenth
6th and Tenth is a 230-unit, 31-floor condo development in the Beltline — the first foray into Calgary’s condo market by veteran Toronto realtor and developer Brad J. Lamb and his company, Lamb Development Corp.
“Our goal was to create a magnificent public space for all citizens of Calgary to enjoy,” says Lamb.
“We are creating a landmark. First and foremost is architecture. At 6th and Tenth, the architecture is unrivalled from a residential standpoint in Calgary and, of course, our public piazza featuring a stunning sculpture, water feature and a restaurant are in response to that.”
Chilean sculptor Francisco Gazitua was recently announced as winner of an international competition to provide public art for the piazza. His sculpture, Land of Horses, will no doubt become an inner-city landmark.
When it comes to enjoying their home, residents will have access to amenities of a standard found at luxury hotels.
“We have also created a facility, the Sky Lounge, featuring an incredibly sexy outdoor lap pool, outdoor fireplace and lounge, a private club space, and fitness facilities,” says Lamb.
Visit 6thandtenth.com for more information.
With its prime Eau Claire location and views of the Bow River and Prince’s Island, Anthem Properties’ Waterfront development added amenities to reflect the high-end feel of the community.
“The key aspects of this design are convenience, security and a level of service that is fitting of the lifestyle of our homebuyers,” says Peter Edmonds of Anthem Properties.
These include a concierge service that is available to receive deliveries, book amenities, send out dry cleaning and co-ordinate service calls.
“The concierge service provides a higher level of security, as it is provided 24 hours a day,” says Edmonds. “All of this allows for real lock-andleave convenience and peace of mind for residents.”
Waterfront offers a variety of other amenities, including a fitness facility and yoga studio, whirlpool and steam rooms and a large multi-purpose lounge/party room with a kitchen, seating and big-screen TVs.
“The 16-seat private theatre at Waterfront is another unique amenity, with a 115-inch, specially woven and acoustically transparent frame. It is very popular with residents for screening movies and watching sporting events,” says Edmonds.
Visit waterfrontcalgary.com for more information.
Calgary’s record-breaking luxury condo project on the Elbow River in Mission is under construction by 26th Avenue River Investments Inc., an affiliate of Ledcor Properties Inc.
The River is a collection of 12 river homes and 26 tower homes. It will have a concierge and 24-hour security on site, a gym, meeting rooms and even a pet wash station.
Having bike storage on site is particularly resonating with the inner-city crowd, says Anne Clarke, director of sales for The River.
“The amenities keep it like a home,” she says.
“(Buyers) don’t want excess stuff; they don’t want the big pools.”
The level of automation within the units promises to set a new bar for high-end condo tower developments, she adds.
“We are going to be one of the most automated developments in the entire city,” says Clarke.
“You’ll have the ability to control your lights, your music, your security system, even your temperature from across the room. You can actually do it if you were in China. Through an app on your phone, you can turn on your fireplace.”
In the units, owners can use touchpads to fine-tune their environment. Visit therivercalgary.com for more information.
FRAM+Slokker’s two new projects in East Village are Verve and Riverhouse, each offering a special twist on amenity spaces.
In Verve, a portion of the sixth floor spills out onto the rooftop of the podium, creating a spot for communal amenities — such as a party room that makes socializing easy.
“It has an interesting seating arrangement,” says Fred Serrafero of FRAM. “It’s like a three-sided Japanese table, with seating all around and a cooking area at one end.”
The outdoor rooftop space offers space for yoga, a firepit, a lounge area and a hot tub.
“We thought we’d put in (the hot tub) for the apres-ski crowd who come home on a Sunday night,” says Serrafero.
To follow up with what the developer did in First, the sister project to Verve, a small lookout room is located on the 24th floor. It offers views to the north, east and west.
For the twowheeled commuters, there is bike storage as well as a bike wash station.
Riverhouse is a premium, six-storey concrete building fronting RiverWalk in East Village. It will contain 12 units, with larger ones from 1,600 to 3,400 square feet.
When FRAM+Slokker did some market research for the boutique development last summer, it discovered dining, wine and travel were the top three interests of the people looking at Riverhouse.
“Travel, of course, we can’t accommodate — it’s a whole different industry,” says Serrafero. “So, instead, just down the corridor from the lounge, we decided to create a room as a wine room.”
It will have a large table able to seat up to 14 people for events, catered dinners and wine tastings.
The room features secure, temperature- and humidity-controlled wine cabinets that can hold up to a couple of hundred bottles for each condo.
“There will be the ability to host one’s own party, have your own wine and also have the ability to bring in, say, an independent winery to do some wine tasting,” says Serrafero. “If it’s a catered event, there’s a little kitchenette.”
Visit EVexperience.com for more information.
CVisit our website for more photos.
Peter Doelman, 31, a lawyer who works downtown, bought a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit on the eighth floor of The Park, shown in a model in the foreground.
A big communal patio, seen in this artist’s rendering from The Park, is a nice place to spend an evening with friends.
An artist’s rendering of the wine room amenity with storage coolers and seating for 14 people in Riverhouse by FRAM + Slokker in East Village.