Main­te­nance-free liv­ing pro­vides more time for work, play and travel

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Front Page - CINDY STEPHEN

Is it ap­pro­pri­ate to call it down­siz­ing when you ac­tu­ally move to a larger place?

For Mount Royal Uni­ver­sity psy­chol­ogy in­struc­tor Mon­ica Baehr and her now-re­tired hus­band, mov­ing from their tiny wartime home in West Hill­hurst to Brook­field Res­i­den­tial’s Capella in Uni­ver­sity

District is more of a fresh start.

“It’s an in­cen­tive to get my life into a more or­derly space, men­tally and phys­i­cally,” says Baehr, who has been a Uni­ver­sity of Cal­gary stu­dent and is now semi-re­tired.

The cou­ple pur­chased their small two-bed­room home for $69,500 in the early 1980s. They built an ad­di­tion, raised a son and have en­joyed suc­cess­ful ca­reers in academia at MRU and up the hill at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­gary. Baehr says she has a few more teach­ing years left in her but wants to pre­pare for the next phase.

“If we’re go­ing to move, now is the time. We still have the en­ergy and health for the com­ing years, but I’d like to pre­pare for where I’m go­ing to live un­til the end, God help me,” she says with a laugh.

Want­ing to stay close to the uni­ver­sity, Baehr and her hus­band con­sid­ered a few north­west neigh­bour­hoods, but Uni­ver­sity District by West Cam­pus De­vel­op­ment

Trust held tremen­dous ap­peal. Shop­ping is within walk­ing dis­tance, there are path­ways for their hour-long daily walks, and Foothills Med­i­cal Cen­tre is just min­utes away.

“I wanted to be close to the hospi­tal. I mean, stuff comes up — that just be­comes a part of life,” she says frankly.

Af­ter re­search­ing var­i­ous multi-fam­ily projects within Uni­ver­sity District, Brook­field’s Capella of­fered a sin­gle-level floor plan they felt would work best for their unique life­style: the Vela, a three-bed­room, two-bath­room unit with 1,778 square feet of to­tal space (in­clud­ing a bal­cony).

“I wanted a big enough place that we could each have our own space and pur­sue our com­mon and dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties,” she says.

Theirs will be a south-fac­ing unit in one of the eight sin­gle-level es­tate res­i­dence build­ings. The base model is a two-bed­room plus flex room; Op­tion A con­verts the flex room to a third bed­room and Op­tion B in­cludes a fire­place. They went with the ex­tra bed­room so each of them has a place to work, study and re­lax.

The master and ad­di­tional bed­rooms are at the rear of the unit. Baehr ap­pre­ci­ates the open kitchen, din­ing and liv­ing room in the Vela and the cosy, very us­able out­door space on the 134 square foot bal­cony.

Capella is sched­uled to break ground this fall and their unit should be com­pleted in the Spring of 2021.

“That’s fine be­cause I need a lot of time to get my­self ready for that. I have a lot of stuff,” she says.

Sell­ing their lit­tle house in West Hill­hurst won’t be a con­cern, as de­vel­op­ers ea­ger to knock it down to build new homes are lin­ing up to buy it.

Baehr falls into one of the two prin­ci­ple de­mo­graph­ics that Capella caters to: down­siz­ers and young pro­fes­sion­als look­ing for main­te­nance-free liv­ing that frees up time to work, play and travel.

The project, lo­cated 2.5 blocks north of the Uni­ver­sity District’s dy­namic re­tail area, con­sists of a five-storey build­ing with apart­ment-style con­dos and seven build­ings of sin­gle-level lux­ury es­tate res­i­dences.

Brook­field is us­ing its own blue­prints from a sim­i­lar and suc­cess­ful model in Cal­i­for­nia, which has trans­lated well into the vi­sion that West Cam­pus Trust has for Uni­ver­sity District. It’s also gar­nered the builder/de­vel­oper sev­eral BILD Cal­gary nom­i­na­tions and awards.

Brook­field com­mu­nity man­ager

Elisa Plett says they also took feed­back from cus­tomers who looked at the com­pleted Ivy town­home project on the north side of the Uni­ver­sity District and in­cor­po­rated sug­ges­tions into the creation of Capella.

“Peo­ple told us that they want to down­size, they want to stay in the area, and they don’t want stairs. That’s why we’ve hit the nail on the head with the types of homes we’re cre­at­ing in Capella,” she says.

The Vela is priced from the mid-$800,000s and is one of seven cur­rent and fu­ture two- and three-bed­room floor plans of­fered in the es­tate res­i­dences.

The Capella show suite is in the Dis­cov­ery Cen­tre in Uni­ver­sity District.

Mount Royal Uni­ver­sity psy­chol­ogy in­struc­tor Mon­ica Baehr and her hus­band pur­chased a three-bed­room unit in Capella that will suit their life­style in re­tire­ment. DON MOLYNEAux

The din­ing area in the Capella show suite. PHO­TOS: BROOK­FIELD RES­I­DEN­TIAL

Brook­field Res­i­den­tial is us­ing its blue­prints from a sim­i­lar model in Cal­i­for­nia that has trans­lated well into the vi­sion for the Uni­ver­sity District.

The open kitchen in Capella apart­ment con­dos is a strong sell­ing point.

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