Bridge­land Hill close to the core

Con­dos a mag­net for young pro­fes­sion­als look­ing to buy a home, rather than rent

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Front Page - BARB LIV­ING­STONE

When Sean Bor­bridge fin­ished break­fast with his par­ents at one of their favourite spots on Ed­mon­ton Trail, they de­cided to take a stroll fur­ther down into Bridge­land.

“At the time, I was look­ing for a place to rent close to down­town, but the prices were so high and the dif­fer­ence be­tween rent and a mort­gage, in the end, wasn’t that great,” says the 22-year-old.

In their walk from Diner Deluxe down the Trail, they passed the new site for Bridge­land Hill, a condo project by Gablecraft Homes. The site in­trigued them enough that they later checked out the sales cen­tre and show suite for the project, lo­cated on First Av­enue — the main business hub of Bridge­land with its popular cafes, restau­rants and iconic stores like Luke’s Pharmacy and the Bridge­land Mar­ket.

“The day be­fore, I guess it had been crazy with a lineup (300 peo­ple were at the cen­tre open­ing) and I was im­pressed with the project.”

The tech­ni­cal spe­cial­ist with a tech­nol­ogy company bought a one bed­room plus den unit in Bridge­land Hill and ex­pects to move in some­time in mid-2016. Bor­bridge lives with his par­ents in Hid­den Val­ley and works just out­side the down­town core.

“This (Bridge­land) is a su­per up-and­com­ing neigh­bour­hood,” says Bor­bridge. “I can ride my bike or can walk right down­town in 10 min­utes.”

He also says while Bridge­land has great ameni­ties like cafes and restau­rants, it doesn’t have the party at­mos­phere of other in­ner-city neigh­bour­hoods, “so I’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep be­fore go­ing to work.”

Sis­ter company Apex City­Homes is build­ing Bridge­land Cross­ings — whose first phase is 90 per cent sold while phase two has just launched. David Mag­nan, sales di­rec­tor for Bridge­land Hill, de­scribes the neigh­bour­hood as vi­brant, draw­ing a lot of young peo­ple to its core while at the same time re­tain­ing a strong sense of com­mu­nity. The units in Bridge­land Hill range in size from 577 to 1,088 square feet. One bed­rooms start at $294,900 (one bed­room plus den at $299,900), two bed­rooms from $389,900 and three bed­rooms at $529,900. The three bed­room plus of­fice pent­house is $555,900.

The Hill project will be built along Ed­mon­ton Trail to­ward 4th Av­enue N.E., start­ing just be­low Bucci’s Next condo de­vel­op­ment, which was very popular with buy­ers.

Along Ed­mon­ton Trail, some of Cal­gary’s most popular break­fast spots can be found, in­clud­ing Diner Deluxe and OEB, ex­tend­ing onto First Av­enue with the Blue Star Diner. Dur­ing the last cou­ple of years, other eclec­tic restau­rants — in­clud­ing the Black Pig Bistro, Tazza, Shiki Menya and Zi­pang — have joined long-stand­ing, Ital­ian-themed restau­rants in the neigh­bour­hood.

The west- and south-fac­ing units in Bridge­land Hill will have views of down­town, while the north fac­ing con­dos will look over green space. Ex­tra-sized win­dows from the main liv­ing area lead onto large bal­conies on each unit, some fac­ing an in­ner court­yard. There are no up­grade choices for fin­ish­ings, Mag­nan says, be­cause Gablecraft en­sures ev­ery­thing is high end in the first place, which helps pre­serve the value of each unit.

Fea­tures in­clude stain­less-steel ap­pli­ances (in­clud­ing a five-burner gas stove), pol­ished quartz coun­ters in the kitchen and bath­rooms, HARO-planked lam­i­nate floor­ing, Moen kitchen fix­tures and porce­lain tile floor­ing in the “spa” bath­rooms.

Ameni­ties in­clude a fit­ness fa­cil­ity, a 2,000-square-foot land­scaped court­yard, un­der­ground park­ing and a pri­vate stor­age room for bikes ac­cessed by a sep­a­rate ramp from Ed­mon­ton Trail — one of the fea­tures that at­tracted Bor­bridge. Each unit has a stor­age locker. Condo fees will be 35 cents per square foot, per month.

The project launched in Septem­ber and al­ready 40 per cent of Bridge­land Hill — with its mar­ket­ing tagline of “Young. En­er­getic. Con­nected’ — is sold.

Mag­nan says the pop­u­lar­ity of the project is a com­bi­na­tion of at­trac­tive pric­ing, the rep­u­ta­tion of the builder and the neigh­bour­hood the project is in. Bor­bridge echoes those sen­ti­ments — and ob­vi­ously there are oth­ers like him, as he was sur- prised at the num­ber of peo­ple in their 20s and their par­ents who were at the sales cen­tre the same time he was.

“I think it’s a pretty good in­vest­ment — and so did my par­ents. I re­searched the builder and there is a range of hous­ing with a range of buy­ers.”

And while Bor­bridge says like most young Cal­gar­i­ans, “I don’t know where I’ll be in five years — but this will never be dif­fi­cult to sell if I want to move up, or to rent. It has ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing bike stor­age and heated un­der­ground park­ing.” Best of all, he says, “it has high-end fin­ish­ings just right for a young guy and it’s in my price range.” PROJECT: Bridge­land Hill BUILDER/ DE­VEL­OPER: Gablecraft Homes LO­CA­TION: The sales cen­tre is at 736 1st Ave. N.E. PRICES: One bed­rooms start at $294,900 (one bed­room plus den at $299,900); two bed­rooms start at $389,900 and three bed­rooms at $529,900. The three bed­room plus of­fice pent­house is $555,900. IN­FOR­MA­TION: Visit the web­site at www.bridge­land­hill.gable­crafthomes.ca

Adrian Shellard/For the Spe­cial Projects

Tech­ni­cal spe­cial­ist Sean Bor­bridge, 22, bought a condo unit in Bridge­land Hill and ex­pects to move in some­time in mid-2016.

Pho­tos: Gablecraft Homes

A ren­der­ing of a great room in a condo unit at Bridge­land Hill dis­plays the HARO-planked lam­i­nate.

The kitchen fea­tures stain­less-steel ap­pli­ances and pol­ished quartz coun­ters.

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