Saying so long to the commute
Verve buyer sees more time for life in East Village
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.
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.
Buyers are drawn to new master planned inner city neighbourhood.