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March 30, 2011

All eyes on Drake

Drake’s distinctive design delights


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The urban appeal of a contemporary highrise – designed to reflect the vibrant, youthful energy of Calgary and set in a village atmosphere in a humming, thriving part of the city — Drake has the distinction of becoming Calgary’s multi-family vision of the future.

It certainly has caught the eye of buyers — both homeowners and investors — who have snapped up 30 per cent of the 135-unit, 17-storey highrise in the Connaught area of the Beltline — a lively and jumping part of town that has been one of the key reasons for Drake’s success.

The building will be built on a quiet corner just across from the upscale Lower Mount Royal and a short walking distance to the energetic 17th Avenue entertainment hub and offers a range of homes from studio-style condos to street-level townhomes.

“You will be right in the middle of a vibrant entertainment and shopping area with nearby restaurants, coffee shops, unique retailers, banks, groceries and other amenities that make life so much easier and enjoyable,” says Jaydan Tait, senior development manager at Grosvenor Americas, which is developing the project.

“It’s the location of the property that first attracted us to this development, we knew it to be a vital part of town that would offer incredible value for our residents,” he adds. “We have been able to price the project at post-recession construction costs, which we are able to pass down to buyers and offer affordable homes with high quality finishes.”

Right now, homes here are at their most affordable, with studios starting at $185,900, a one-bedroom is at $256,900 and a two-bedroom is at $354,900. “This is exceptional pricing that will not be available for long,” he says.

Over 50 per cent of the homes are under $300,000, and owning in what is arguably one of the most forward looking developments in the inner city can start for as low as $829 a month.

Drake boasts contemporary design and sleek finishes, and over-height ceilings that create a feeling of spaciousness with floor plans designed to utilize every square inch of each suite. Soft carpets line the floor of every bedroom, while contemporary engineered wood flooring in shades of midnight or tan will be used in other rooms. Kitchens are outfitted with high-end stainless steel appliances and colour schemes reflect a fine touch.

Sleek, modern cabinetry and recessed lighting enhance the feeling of stylish elegance, as do countertops of porcelain and marble, including a kitchen backsplash with textured three-dimensional feel.

“Award-winning Insight Design Group designed the interiors and it really brings home a feeling of sophistication — it’s a home you wouldn’t want to leave in an area where there so much to do, which makes for a really good combination,” Tait adds.

Construction of the building is set to begin by the summer and first possessions would follow around 22 months after that. There are two display suites at the sales centre that illustrate just the kind of life possible at Drake.

Distinguishing Drake further is the fact that it will be designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards — one of the few new multi-family developments in the city that adheres to this international rating standard on sustainable construction processes.

The condo will feature energy-efficient appliances and water-smart plumbing features that use less water. Low-VOC paints will be used, which will reduce the amount of chemicals in the air. It will also pursue certification with the Canada Green Building Council. “We are totally committed to sustainability and limiting our footprint on the environment as much as possible,” Tait says.

It’s this forward-thinking sensibility that has attracted a lot of the buyers as well. Although attuned to suit the needs of the young professional, Drake also has floorplans that appeal to the baby-boomer generation — for which their townhome component in the main level is well suited.

“I’d say we appeal to everyone from the 25- to 55-year-old, including downsizers and snowbirds who aren’t necessarily retired but want a smaller space to call home. We have attracted people who want to build their equity and who know that the value of Drake can only go up over time,” Tait says.


Fast Facts

Community: Connaught

Project: Drake

Developer: Grosvenor Americas

Style: Apartment condos and townhomes

Size: From 398 sq. ft. to 1,518 sq. ft.

Price: Starts at $185,900

Address: 2nd Floor, 850 16th Ave. S.W.

Hours: Open daily from noon to 6 p.m. except Fridays



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