December 19, 2011
A vision renewed
The Guardian — Angel of Victoria Park
Like a phoenix out of the ashes of the economic recession, The Guardian will soon rise in Victoria Park as it raises the banner spearheading the redevelopment of one of Calgary’s most historic neighbourhoods.
Victoria Park in the heart of Calgary’s Beltline has always played a huge part in the city’s growth since its birth, and it will surely recapture its glory days as the hub of its cultural and entertainment scene with the ambitious 42-storey residential high-rise by Hon Towers Ltd. at its very heart. It definitely sets the stage for the planned revitalization of Victoria Park and goes hand-in-hand with the multi-million dollar redevelopment of Stampede Park just across from it.
Steven Cox, who heads the marketing efforts for The Guardian, says it will be the tallest residential building in Calgary, and will provide the most impressive views of any residence in the city. “It is ideally situated to take full advantage of the investment benefits that come alongside the quickly evolving Victoria Park neighborhood as well as its nexus of locales including Downtown, 17th Avenue, Stampede Park, the East Village and Inglewood.”
The Guardian, with 321 suites, is rising from the ArriVa tower development, which fell by the wayside at the height of the recession in 2008. Nicholas Hon, head of Hon Towers and whose family also runs Jager Homes, is a longtime resident of Victoria Park and recognized the vast potential of the location and the conceptual brilliance of building a high-rise residential project in this part of town.
He was able to seize a unique opportunity to purchase the land for the project at not only a heavily reduced value, but also with a substantial amount of preliminary construction work already complete as the underground parking levels are almost finished. “The cost savings are dramatic as is the benefit to buyers,” Cox says.
“With this rare land deal in place, the creation of The Guardian began with financial advantages not shared by other developments. Building on this advantage, Mr. Hon assembled a team of industry experts with the mandate to produce a development that would be accessible to the average Calgarian but with a level of quality and design innovation reserved for much higher priced developments,” he adds.
The combination of the initial land cost savings and more efficient living spaces give The Guardian the ability to offer a higher quality development at a lower overall price to future residents. “It’s true high-end affordability,” Cox says.
“This means that these savings come without sacrifice. As the tallest residential building in Calgary, The Guardian features striking architectural design, the best views in the city, (real, not fake) Italian kitchens and bathrooms, and a substantial amenity package including a very large professional grade gym, yoga studio, games room, and community lounge. In all, The Guardian offers a new perspective on urban living.”
Suites range in size from a 441-square-foot one-bedroom unit to a 1,830-square-foot two-bedroom-plus-den model, and prices start from $150,000 all the way up to $1.5 million.
To put together this ambitious project, Hon Towers reunited an expert team of professionals that the Hon family had previously worked with in building the enormously successful Pointe Claire residential development in Vancouver, which at 35 storeys had once been the tallest residential structure there.
The Guardian aims to make as bold a statement in modern architecture. Its 42-storey tower of glass and steel is punctuated by solid white lines around each floor and down the sides, making it appear light and slender despite its auspicious height. Floor to ceiling glass allows each unit to take full advantage of the unrivaled views while outdoor balconies are designed to include barbeque areas or gardens.
The interior design of its suites has been optimized for urban living. “Different environments necessitate different behaviours and urbanites use their homes differently than their suburban cousins,” says Cox. “So why do most developments design interiors like they are miniaturized houses? Too much space commonly goes to waste in a traditional suite, so we used progressive, modern design principles to create homes that are efficient yet still eminently comfortable.
“Each home is designed to make maximum use of natural lighting, encourage movement and be an empty canvas on which you can create a space that suits your lifestyle. “We have been extremely careful to make sure there are no ‘poor plans’ in The Guardian. In contrast to more traditional residential towers where the architecture causes at least a few interior suite plans to be compromised, the modern architecture of The Guardian was wrapped around the ideal set of floor plans.”
As a mixed-use development, its tower will be dedicated to residences while the podium underneath will be for live/work and commercial spaces, making The Guardian a full community under one roof.
While the Guardian is progressive in its design, it also cherishes and incorporates the aesthetics and history of the community. Its brick-clad podium aligns with the nearby warehouses, while the preservation of both the Sandstone School and Bungalow School have been paramount throughout the development process. A presentation centre is set to open by March 2012.
“The Guardian is the answer for those who want to live somewhere central but unique, exciting yet comfortable, and we want our homes to also be investments for our future,” Cox says.
Community: Victoria Park
Project: The Guardian
Developer: Hon Towers Ltd.
Style: Mixed-use high-rise with live/work units at base and apartment style condos in tower
Size: Starts at 441 sq. ft. to 1,830 sq. ft.
Price: Starts at $150,000 to $1.5 million
Sales Centre: Located in the historic Bungalow School across from Stampede Park.
Address: 400 block of 12th Ave. S.E.