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September 01, 2012

Top flight

Olympian majesty at The Montana’s penthouse

Pepper Rodriguez

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When you’re home is part of the Calgary skyline, the view is guaranteed to be breathtaking. George and Sherry Schluessel’s penthouse home in The Montana not only fulfills these expectations, but is so designed to make the panoramic views of the city and the mountains — in all their grandeur — a part of their lifestyle.

The gleaming tile flooring, the elegant designer fireplace in the great room, the polished finish of this executive suite — stately and refined as they may be — all take a backseat to the stunning views that greet you once you enter.

“We love the way our suite was designed to maximize the views,” says Sherry, adding that the open concept of the home allows unobstructed enjoyment of these views from almost anywhere in the 2,500-square-foot suite.

It feels like every room has a “wow” moment, and it even has four decks where one can enjoy the bejeweled spectacle of a vibrant city at night, or the majesty of the nearby Rockies at sunrise.

“You get a 180-degree view of the surroundings, the cityscape, the southern Alberta prairies and the Canadian Rockies, it’s a priceless picture of serenity and calm,” Sherry says.

Sherry and her husband, George Schluessel, have lived on the 27th floor of this inner city tower since it was completed nearly two years ago, and which they share with George’s daughter, Courtney, and their two golden retrievers.

George is the President and CEO of ProCura, The Montana’s developer, and Sherry is the Executive Vice-President. It makes life so much easier when walking to work means going up a flight of stairs, as the renowned developer’s headquarters is just on the floor above them.

“We hold a lot of entertaining functions here and the open design really helps in that regard, and so do the four spacious decks that we have that open up to give spectacular views of the mountains and the cityscape,” she tells Condo Living.

The kitchen is a favourite hotspot for parties with its massive centre island — more like a continent than an island, really – providing a nexus point from which all conversations can swirl around. The seamless integration of the stove, microwave and fridge in the smooth, burnished walnut cabinetry raises the elegance of the entire room by several notches.

The formal dining room is a perfect backdrop for executive board meetings, although the views from the floor-to-ceiling windows can be a little distracting. The high-end crystal chandeliers provide just the right touch of swanky Continental chic to the surroundings and stylishly punctuate the nine-foot coffered ceilings of the suite.

The expansive Visionwall windows not only provide the perfect views but have the strength, durability and environmentally-friendly features needed for life at the top. “It lets you enjoy the views but doesn’t let noise through, nor will the temperature outside — whether in the extreme cold of winter or the heat of summer — affect the comfort of your room,” she says.

The nine inches of concrete that separate each floor and an eight-inch party wall with two independent wall components are further sound attenuation details that ensure a cocoon of silence for each of the 189 units in this poured-concrete high rise.

It is the location of The Montana in Connaught, just off the vibrant energy of 17th Avenue that Sherry says is the best part of life here. “You can see what’s going on in the streets from the suite’s vantage point and be part of that action in a matter of seconds,” she says.

“The Stampede was a fun time to observe the parties going on down there,” Courtney says. “We also had the best seats to enjoy the fireworks at night.”

“There are several restaurants, bars, bistros and fine dining establishments all within walking distance from the Montana’s front door, it really is the best location in the city,” Sherry says. The Montana’s concierge service takes care of the day-to-day details for a real maintenance-free lifestyle.

The Nellie Estate suite — there are six of them in the building, most are already sold — is named after one of the Famous Five, Nellie McClung, whose heritage home is part of The Montana property. “We felt that we have to honour such a strong woman, who along with her suffragist collaborators have contributed immeasurably to the growth of women’s rights and Canadian society,” Schlussel says.

The three-bedroom suite (all with walk-in closets) features two-and-a-half full baths. “For our suite, I had all the walls taken down in the ensuite for a wide open feel, we also put in a gorgeous steam bath in the middle for that sexy spa-like feel.”

Sherry says it will be difficult to say goodbye to such a perfect setting, but their work at ProCura is demanding more of their time in Edmonton. “We’re selling this for $2.2 million, but the views alone are worth the price,” she says.

ProCura’s offices will remain here though, which gives the new owners — as it does all the other occupants in the building — the peace of mind that comes knowing life will remain tip-top at the top.

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