Avli condo reaches topping-off milestone
Construction crews completed the final roof-top concrete pour as dignitaries conducted a topping-off ceremony on the Avli condominium in Inglewood at the end of December.
Against skyline views of the downtown core, husband-andwife building owners Chris and Penny Stathonikos, partner Brian Kernick of Greenview Developments and city Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra, smoothed fresh concrete on the roof of the new seven-storey building on 9th Avenue.
“I’m going to make a concrete snow angel,” Carra told Chris Stathonikos as they took up trowels at the edge of the wet concrete.
The Avli — meaning courtyard in Greek — features a central, glassed-in double elevator, five ground-floor retail spaces and a street-facing courtyard on the southeast corner, topped by 65 custom-designed condo units from 545 to 2,200 square feet. Kernick said interior finishing will be completed by “late spring” and some 75 per cent of condo units are now sold. Remaining units range from 545 to 700 square feet, he said.
Designed by award-winning architect Jeremy Sturgess, the $36 million Avli project is a long-held vision of the Stathonikos couple. Chris Stathonikos said each condo unit is a unique floor plan, “it’s not like a cookie cutter.”
The design will feature a terrace and barbecue area, a fire table facing the Bow River, a lounge area for residents to entertain guests, its own library, plus a bike storage and repair area to encourage active living and low-impact commuting into the nearby business district.
Chris came to Canada from Greece in 1966 as a 17-year-old. While taking classes to become an autobody repairman in the early 1970s, he said, he worked at the Custom Autobody shop, which then occupied the Avli site, at 1089 9th Ave. S.E. In 1978, he bought the business and the land, changed the name to Arrow Autobody and began to think about how the site could be redeveloped.
By the early 1990s, he was president of the Inglewood Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ), working to gain residents’ approval for concrete sidewalks, an initiative that passed by a margin of just four votes.
Penny Stathonikos said it was the first small step toward gentrification and additional artists, artisans and business people were soon attracted to set up shop in the area, where many of the older buildings were getting historic status. She said Inglewood went through a time when city hall wanted new buildings to conform to a historic theme. But she said she feels that fake history devalues the real thing and eventually the policy changed to allow new construction to reflect contemporary design, while the move to inner-city densification also helped with approvals for the Avli project.
Now she’s working with a local committee to select artists to design two artworks that will grace the Avli’s facade.
“Rather than just putting up a nondescript big building, we’re trying to add to the community,” she said.
Avli’s recent topping-off ceremony in Inglewood included, from left, Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra, husband-and-wife building owners Chris and Penny Stathonikos, Calvin Buss and partner Brian Kernick of Greenview Developments.