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July 01, 2013

Central station

Prime location, affordability makes Albert Park Station an irresistible draw

Greg Beneteau

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One of the cardinal rules of real estate is that it’s all about location, location, location. The closer you live to the comforts of city living ­­— transit, shopping, schools and parks — the more you have to pay.

Calgary-based Carlisle Group turns this concept upside-down at Albert Park Station, a new condominium development boasting some of the lowest introductory prices in the city.

What’s more, the condo apartment complex provides convenient access to the downtown and has plenty of amenities just waiting to be explored, notes Jim Bryce, vice-president of sales at Carlisle Group.

“It’s about a five-minute drive to downtown. It’s also within walking distance of the (Barlow/Max Bell) LRT station,” says Bryce. “In terms of park space, you’re right next door to a playground and an outdoor skating rink. Walk a few blocks south and you’ve got the shops on International Avenue.”

Albert Park Station consists of 271 units spread across five buildings between 12 and 14 Avenues at 27 Street S.E., on the site of a former public school in Albert Park/Radisson Heights.

Two-bedroom units start in the $140,000s, all the way up to penthouse suites in the low $300,000s. The majority of units adhere to one of eight different floor plans ranging from 615 to 984 square-feet. Some three-bedroom units with optional dens will also be available.

Each four-story, wood-frame building at Albert Park Station has a slightly different layout. Buildings 3000, 4000 and 5000 all have setback units on the fourth floor, as well as personal patios for each unit. Additionally, Building 5000 boasts mountain views on the west side on the third and fourth floors. The complex also offers heated underground parking with keyless entry.

Albert Park Station’s modern, contemporary feel extends indoors. All units come standard with soft pile carpet and underlay in the living, dining and bedrooms, as well as laminate countertops, Melamine cabinets, double-glazed exterior windows and five appliances. Homebuyers can also customize their decor scheme and purchase upgrades like hardwood flooring and granite countertops.

But one of the most attractive features of Albert Park Station is what isn’t there — in-house amenities like a gym, hot tub or swimming pool are conspicuously absent, which allows Carlisle to keep condo fees among the lowest in the city.

“If you don’t need or want that extra stuff, then you shouldn’t have to pay extra,” Bryce says. He estimates owners will pay between 35 and 40 cents per square foot in condo fees, or about $300 a month for a 750-square-foot unit.

Bryce readily admits that Albert Park/Radisson Heights is a “neighbourhood in transition,” saying that Carlisle Group sees the development as part of an ongoing revitalization of the area.

“There’s a huge amount that’s already been achieved, to the point where the neighbourhood doesn’t necessarily deserve the reputation it had 20 or 30 years ago,” he says. “You have homeowners who have put money back into their homes to renovate them. We’re part of that transition.”

With more than 25 years of experience in the real estate business, Carlisle Group has rolled out nearly a dozen new projects in the past few years, including Indigo Sky and Lakeview at Saddleridge, Riverpointe in the downtown and Indigo Sky at Taralake. The developer has also expanded outside Calgary with Creekside Village in Airdrie and Stonecreek Village in Cochrane, as well as developments in Edmonton and Invermere, British Columbia.

No matter where you live, says Bryce, consistency is one of the hallmarks of Carlisle’s work.

“Whether you’re buying a condo from us in Saddleridge or Taralake or Cochrane, there isn’t a huge difference in terms of the what we offer,” he explains. “Some developers don’t like to admit that, but that’s our niche in the market. Our buildings are high-volume, durable, very consistent and affordable for first-time buyers.”

Albert Park Station held its sales launch in early June. The developer hopes to break ground in midsummer, with possessions expected to start in the summer of 2014. 

Carlisle is expecting to sell out before possession, so interested buyers should not delay, Bryce says.

“If you look at any developments in a five or even a 10-mile radius, you’d be hard-pressed to find units that start under $300,000,” says Bryce. “At Albert Park, we have 268 units under $300,000 — and the most affordable units are going to sell first.”

Fast Facts
Community: Albert Park/Radisson Heights
Project: Albert Park Station
Developer: Carlisle Group
Style: Apartment-style condos
Size: Starts at 614 sq. ft.
Price: Two-bedroom units starting in the $140,000s
Sales Centre: 352 4th Avenue S.E. (off Riverfront Ave – across from Bookers)
Hours: Monday to Thursday noon-6 p.m.; weekends 12 – 5 p.m.

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