Say­ing so long to the com­mute

Verve buyer sees more time for life in East Vil­lage

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - BARB LIV­ING­STONE

An­neliesse Bilic will gain three hours a day of per­sonal time when she moves into her new condo in East Vil­lage’s Verve project.

The 24-year-old will no longer have to spend that time get­ting to and from work as her job is just a 10-minute CTrain ride from the trendy in­ner city neigh­bour­hood.

Which means more time spent for the things she loves — in­clud­ing go­ing to mu­sic fes­ti­vals, walk­ing along the river and in the parks, and hang­ing out at restaurant­s with her friends.

“I was look­ing every­where down­town be­cause I wanted to be close to the CTrain sta­tion,” says the qual­ity co-or­di­na­tor whose of­fice is just off the Franklin sta­tion.

“East Vil­lage has ev­ery­thing I was look­ing for.”

Su­san Veres, vice-pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions for Cal­gary Mu­nic­i­pal Land Cor­po­ra­tion (CMLC) the City of Cal­gary-owned de­vel­oper of East Vil­lage, says it is quite re­mark­able how quickly the mas­sive 20-hectare re­de­vel­op­ment right in the down­town core — launched with a mas­ter­plan in 2009 — has gained a fol­low­ing.

Be­tween March 2012 and March of this year, 500 of the 570 units orig­i­nally re­leased to home­buy­ers have been sold.

“This project has a 10 per cent share of the down­town condo mar­ket. It is res­onat­ing with people be­cause of the qual­ity of the prod­uct.”

Veres says there is a grow­ing slice of home­buy­ers who value a vi­brant life­style that does not in­clude a long com­mute and a lot of yard to take care of.

Two builders have been part of the East Vil­lage project from the start.

FRAM+Slokker will even­tu­ally have seven projects with the 196-unit First, just off River­Walk, (more than 90 per cent sold and un­der con­struc­tion) and 195-unit Verve (50 per cent sold) on the pedes­trian thor­ough­fare Riff, cur­rently for sale.

The con­struc­tion cranes are also up for Em­bassy Bosa Inc.’s Evo­lu­tion project with first phase Fuse (203 units; the tower is sold out; mid-rise units are 80 per cent sold) and sec­ond phase Pulse (271 units; tower is 85 per cent sold and gar­den units just launched, are 50 per cent sold).

But equally en­tic­ing to buy­ers are the ameni­ties in East Vil­lage. The her­itage Sim­mons Build­ing is un­der ren­o­va­tion as a drink and food des­ti­na­tion with an­nounced ten­ants John Jack­son and Con­nie DeSousa of CHARCUT, Phil Robertson and Se­bas­tian Sztabzyb of Phil & Se­bas­tian Cof­fee Roast­ers, and Aviv Fried of Side­walk Cit­i­zen Bak­ery; the Na­tional Mu­sic Cen­tre is to in­clude the com­mu­nity’s iconic King Eddy ho­tel; a new Cen­tral Li­brary is be­ing built; and there is ma­jor green space de­vel­op­ment through­out (see side­bar).

East Vil­lage will also in­clude a Hil­ton Ho­tel and a re­tail cen­tre with a gro­cery store.

“These buy­ers are em­brac­ing this new mas­ter planned in­ner city neigh­bour­hood with ev­ery­thing it has to of­fer: bike paths, restaurant­s, river, parks, re­tail, en­ter­tain­ment, and easy ac­cess by CTrain or by car,” says Deb Ped­er­sen, di­rec­tor of sales for FRAM in East Vil­lage.

She says people al­ready come to the com­mu­nity for events like Food Truck Frenzy and Opera in the Vil­lage and “see the beau­ti­ful path­ways on the river and close prox­im­ity to down­town and re­al­ize this is where they want to live.”

Fred Ser­rafero, vice-pres­i­dent of con­struc­tion/de­vel­op­ment for FRAM, which has projects through­out North Amer­ica says East Vil­lage, with its unique lo­ca­tion next to wa­ter, parks and the down­town, will make the de­vel­op­ment “a show­case com­mu­nity not just for Cal­gary but for Canada.”

Robert Marc­hand, vice-pres­i­dent sales and mar­ket­ing for Em­bassy Bosa’s projects, says the pos­i­tive sales sup­port the feel­ing that “East Vil­lage has ev­ery­thing.”

Buy­ers, he says, have a con­sis­tent theme: they are pro­fes­sion­als, work down­town, work hard and “don’t want to waste valu­able time trav­el­ling to work from the fringes of the city.“

Em­bassy Bosa is work­ing on other ac­qui­si­tions in East Vil­lage and “we will be bring­ing more to the mar­ket soon.”

Bilic will move into her onebed­room unit in the 25-storey Verve in the fall of 2016.

“There is ac­cess to the train, I can walk to the mall, to the park, to the river, it’s next to Fort Cal­gary (with its mu­sic fes­ti­vals) and I go to the Phil­har­monic and the restaurant­s.”

For some­one who lived in Fort McMur­ray, where “I could walk in the woods,” the East Vil­lage project of­fers ac­cess to St. Patrick’s Is­land, and path­ways along the river — all the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment she wants in an ur­ban set­ting.

The only bad thing, she says, is “I wish I could get in sooner! For people start­ing out it is the place to be. It is a good in­vest­ment and the sooner you get into the mar­ket, the bet­ter.”

Bilic is so pleased with her pur­chase her enthusiasm has led other friends to check into buy­ing in the same build­ing.

Pho­tos: Adrian Shel­lard/Postmedia News

When An­neliesse Bilic moves into her condo in the FRAM+Slokker de­vel­op­ment in the East Vil­lage she’ll save three hours a day in com­mut­ing time.

A unit in the FRAM+Slokker de­vel­op­ment in the East Vil­lage, which boasts many en­tic­ing ameni­ties.

For the Cal­gary Herald

Buy­ers are drawn to new mas­ter planned in­ner city neigh­bour­hood.

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