THE IVY PUTTING ‘FEET FIRST’
A walkable community where sidewalks are twice as wide, with outstanding green spaces
It was never Samuel Lau’s intention to live alone in his new home. But life being what it is, as he stoically admits, that’s the way it has turned out.
Several months after he and his wife, Jane, purchased a townhouse in Brookfield Residential’s Ivy development in University District last year, she was diagnosed with cancer and died in the spring.
“Jane had a vision for a home in this community. She selected all the interiors, like the colours and types of sinks and whatnot.
“She knew we needed to get new furniture to match the modern decor, but never had a chance to pick it out,” Lau says. “We’d been looking for a place that was really inviting, for gatherings. The home we chose in the Ivy was perfect, in a community that we loved. A ‘feet first’ community where the sidewalks are twice as wide with outstanding green spaces.”
Lau, in his mid-40s, took possession of his home in September and has adopted a pragmatic outlook — that the home was a final gift from Jane.
“That’s what she’s left for me and everyone else in her life. She was a pastor in children’s ministry and she had a lot of friends,” he says.
“One of the things Jane was particular about was having room for guests. Anybody who needed a place to stay could stay at our home.”
Lau, who works downtown as a software-project manager, moved to the Ivy in September from a single-family home in nearby Dalhousie.
“I was downsizing and discovered I had a lot of clutter. Moving made me think about what I needed in life,” he says.
Before taking up residence in the Ivy, he hired interior designer Kim Purvis to choose furniture based on Instagram photos that Jane had collected. He isn’t shy about declaring his home to be more beautiful than Brookfield’s show suite in the University District’s Discovery Centre.
The Laus purchased a courtyardfacing end unit in Ivy.
Of the 127 units planned for the development, 34 are end units. He and Jane chose the Reseda, a 1,712-square-foot, three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home with a double garage and a spacious terrace. With the terrace’s depth of 8.5 feet, there’s enough room for a full-sized patio table and chairs, he says.
“I also love my bright and spacious kitchen, but my favourite part is just entering a home that feels instantly welcoming with many gathering areas that are inviting and comfortable. That’s entirely credited to Brookfield Residential for creating the floor plan and the bright interior selections my wife chose. It feels very relaxing and peaceful, which confirms that the townhouse purchase was the right decision for me,” he says.
The Reseda, with a two-bedroom option, is the second largest floor plan in the Ivy, next to the Laurel, which is fully sold out, says Justin Castelino, marketing manager for Brookfield Residential.
“A number of our buildings are sold out, with buildings 1, 10 and 11 yet to be released. We have 25 homes available for purchase right now, with a mix of immediatepossession homes and some a few months to even a year away. It depends when people are looking to move in.”
Homes ready to go include the 1,185-square-foot Viridian, starting at $493,000 and the 1,591-square-foot Olivine, priced from $585,900.
Several Reseda model homes are currently under construction.
As University District is a LEED Platinum community, the Ivy has followed suit as a Built Green gold registered development, reflecting the eco-conscious aspect of the area.
The northwest neighbourhood continues to take shape with completion of the north pond, walking paths and two large off-leash dog areas.
The North Commons Park with an accessible play area has recently opened and commercial district construction is well underway with Save- On-Foods and Analog Coffee confirmed as tenants.
Lau says the dog park that opened in July is so appealing that people don’t believe it’s a dog park.
“It’s better than some human parks. And the North Commons Park that recently opened has a huge playground. I have a fiveyear-old niece who’s going to be all over that and giving me reviews when she tests it,” he says.
Lau is tickled that he’s close enough to commute downtown comfortably by bike and to live within 15 minutes walking distance of Market Mall. He’d like to volunteer someday at the nearby Alberta Children’s Hospital and, as a half-marathon runner, will utilize the pathways and the abundant green space.
“Just having all these common spaces helps people get out and socialize.”
And the North Commons Park that recently opened has a huge playground. I have a five-year-old niece who’s going to be all over that …
Samuel Lau loves how well the University District is planned, and the openness of his new home. He also loves the style choices made by his late wife, Jane.
Samuel Lau relaxes in his open-concept living room, furnished according to his late wife, Jane’s, taste.
A bright and spacious kitchen, as well as many gathering areas, make the townhome a welcoming place to live and visit.