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September 16, 2004

Classic Styling

Stelar location help the Kensington rise to the top

L. Sara Bysterveld

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Some condo shoppers may skip over certain buildings because they assume that there is simply no way they could afford to buy there, based on location, standard features, quality or any combination of the three. But you know what they say about assumptions.

Skip over The Kensington by Sable Developments and you might be kicking yourself later on. Suites start at $134,900, and are available in one or two bedrooms, several with downtown views. The Kensington, located on Memorial Drive at 14 St. NW, is Sable’s tenth conversion project since 1998.

One of very few condo projects in the area to start at such an affordable price, The Kensington has retained its original brick façade, but has been completely upgraded with new landscaping, fencing, deck surfaces and railings, roof, turrets and cornices, first floor walk-outs and a fancy new entrance outside; and inside, all new windows and doors, a brand new heating system, upgraded common areas and unexpected standard features.

“What we really work on doing, especially in a neighbourhood like this, is blending and enhancing,” says Tim Sommer, vice president, corporate development of Sable Developments. “So, here’s this beautiful brick building, with this beautiful façade all the way down Memorial Drive, and we worked with it and enhanced it, including the improvement of outdoor amenity space, something the community wanted to see.”

In keeping with classic Kensington and Hillhurst styles, Sable added baseboards, chair rails and mosaic tile work and installed solid wood doors. Each condo includes four stainless steel appliances (as well as full-size stacked washer/dryer units), granite counters, Moen fixtures and hardwood and tile flooring. In the bathroom, a large soaker tub is surrounded by full-height tile (matching that on the floor), and there is plenty of counter, cupboard and drawer space. Some Kensington suites include walk-in closets, and all closets include installed wire shelving for space efficiency.

“We actually do it backwards,” says Sommer. “The suites we have left are in the $189,000 to the $214,900 range, and these prices include everything, but if you said I’ll have carpet in my bedrooms, then we’ll give you money back.”

The case would be the same if you were to take black or white appliances over stainless steel, or if you opted out of having a fireplace. Rather than starting with an affordable price and adding to it with each upgrade, Sable starts with an affordable price and high standards, and subtracts from the price with each lower-priced amendment to the plan.

Lasting value is a main focus at Sable. The Kensington offers just that with solid, concrete construction, classic styling and a stellar location. There is virtually no chance of future development blocking your downtown and river views, with the building set directly across Memorial Drive from city walking paths and the Bow River. Downtown is a ten-minute walk away and, in the dead of winter, the C-Train is nearby as well. Kensington is also home to all the funky restaurants and shopping you could need.

Although The Kensington is selling fast, and full occupancy is expected by the end of the year, Sommer points out that there are still a variety of suites to choose from.

“We still have a neat selection,” he says. “We still can give you a one or a two bedroom with a downtown view; or we can give you a more affordable unit on the north side, because it doesn’t have a downtown view.”

Sommer is currently offering tempting incentives, and he encourages interested buyers to come in and find out about how they can have their first year of condo fees paid, or have their suite upgraded free of charge.

The Kensington is located at 1420 Memorial Dr. NW, and the show suites are open from 1 to 5 pm, Saturdays and Sundays, and 5 to 8 pm Tuesday through Thursday, or by appointment.

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