Avli condo reaches top­ping-off mile­stone

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - BRIAN BUR­TON

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.

WIL ANDRUSCHAK

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.

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