THE HIGH LIFE ON THE HORIZON IN KENSINGTON
The Theodore’s stylish yet affordable condos to tower over the area’s cool coffee shops, trendy restaurants
Geologist Tatum Haglund has been renting an apartment in the Hillhurst Sunnyside neighbourhood for the last three years. Born and raised in Calgary, she had always aspired to live in the Kensington area with its cool coffee shops, boutiques and restaurants.
She recently celebrated a career milestone, which gave her the confidence to start shopping for a place of her own; something affordable and compatible with the inner-city lifestyle she’s come to love.
“It’s a buyers’ market right now and with work the timing was good,” she says. “I looked in the typical areas for young professionals like the Beltline, 17th Avenue and Inglewood. I looked a little in Bridgeland, too.”
During her search, a sign went up at the corner of 10th Street N.W. and Gladstone Road N.W., next door to her apartment. It was advertising a future condo development called the Theodore by Toronto-based Graywood Developments. Home ownership just fell in her lap.
Haglund says she was among the first to visit the sales centre.
“It’s a really nice building in a good spot in Kensington. You’re close to everything, but it’s a bit further north, so it’s a little quieter. There are lots of trees and it’s close to the park,” she says.
The 10-storey, mixed-use building will be constructed on the site of a Royal Bank branch. The bank goes in the spring and Graywood breaks ground in June 2020. The project won’t be ready for occupancy until late 2021, but the timeline works well for Haglund, who is still organizing her down payment.
“I didn’t get help from family — it’s all me. It’s five per cent down, then a while later it’s another five per cent. I have until the move-in date to put down as much as possible,” she says.
Her 656-square-foot unit is the D -1, a one-bedroom-plus-den, open-concept floor plan with laminate floors, quartz countertops, a gas range, in-suite laundry and a west-facing balcony. Of the three interior colour packages offered by Graywood, Haglund chose darker wood floors with lighter cabinetry and a white backsplash.
She chose the fourth floor for the potential view of Kensington over the treetops. There’s a rooftop patio with a firepit and seating area, which she says she’ll definitely use.
“When you live in a neighbourhood with lots of places to go, your place becomes a meeting point. My friends often end up hanging out at my place.”
The D-1 floor plan is priced from $340,000 and is just one of four one-bedroom-plus-den layouts at the Theodore. So far, the B-1 junior one bedroom, at a compact 508 square feet, is the most popular among buyers, priced from the $260,000s without parking.
“People like the location, obviously, with proximity to the university or to SAIT and transit nearby. That’s making it a very desirable option for first-time buyers or as an investment property,” says Patrick Briscoe, Graywood vice-president of development.
The building will also have a pair of two-bedroom-plus-den units and, at the penthouse level, three-bedroom layouts with 1,500 luxurious square feet and a $1-million-plus price tag.
Unlike other developments in the neighbourhood, Graywood received city approval to build 10 storeys up, so residents on the eighth, ninth and 10th floors will have unobstructed views.
The Theodore will have two levels of underground parking, bike storage, 8,000 square feet of retail space and wraparound floor-toceiling windows on the building’s signature corner.
Calling it a “gateway” location on 10th Street, Briscoe says he’s seeing interest from downsizers from the Capitol Hill and Mount Pleasant areas who frequent Kensington and young professionals, like Haglund, who are renting and want to stay in the area.