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October 01, 2013

The Block party

Avi Urban’s live-work homes at The Block blasts off

Pepper Rodriguez

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Mixing professional and personal lives can be a delicate balance to maintain, but when you live where you work, you definitely get an edge in the game. The Block’s last few remaining homes are all live-work townhomes, and they definitely are all about enjoying this lifestyle to the fullest in a contemporary, urban setting.

There’s still room to join the biggest block party in town, but only if you act fast. There are only six of these three-level, two-bedroom units left in what has undoubtedly been one of the most successful developments for Avi Urban. The apartment-style condos in this exemplary four-storey, 60-unit development on 17th Avenue are all but sold out, snapped up just a few months after their launch last fall.

“We knew we had a very special location here on 9A Street just off 17th Avenue in Lower Mount Royal, and we wanted to create a community that’s just as remarkable, and I believe we have that with The Block,” says Avi Urban President, Charron Ungar. “The hardest part for me was holding myself back from buying my own unit here.”

The Block’s live-work townhomes were saved for the last, and they are well worth the wait.

The live-work townhomes range from 1,528 to 1,675 square-feet, and have grade-level parking from the back lane for more privacy. The double attached garage can fit more than just the cars. “There’s enough room here to suit the buyer’s needs — as a home office, a hobby room or just as extra storage space,” Ungar tells Condo Living.

Avi Urban has created live-work condos before, particularly for their Olive development in Bridgeleand. “It’s a wonderful concept that fits a very specific type of homeowner.  That’s why we held off in releasing these units, because we wanted to show buyers the actual product first,” he says.

Now that construction is approaching the final stages, with first possessions already expected in the next three months, the time to release the live-work homes has finally arrived.

“Response has been terrific, people get the vision of what we want to create here,” Ungar says.

The three levels of living space ensures some separation of professional and personal lives, of entertaining with friends and privacy. The double garage is your own personal space, while the next floor has your kitchen, dining room and living room designed in a contemporary open concept to better host parties, and the top floor has the two bedrooms and attached ensuites for greater privacy.

The in-floor slab heating, the top-of-the-line finishes like stainless steel appliances and engineered hardwood floors, the tall ceilings and oversized windows in all the homes combine for a stately, contemporary home. But Avi Urban goes beyond the flash to create an environment that encourages building strong bonds of community.

The Block indeed stands out in the community, with its blend of wood and steel materials, which Ungar says was not an easy combination to construct, but creates a truly distinctive look and feel for the building. “There’s an industrial feel made warmer by the inclusion of wood elements.”

But it’s the fully-landscaped courtyard at the centre of the development that is its most defining features, as it creates a friendly, inviting oasis that residents can enjoy and get to know their neighbours better. 

“We wanted to create a community-within-a-community, we’re creating an environment where like-minded people can congregate and really feel at home in each other’s company,” Ungar says. And it’s not just the courtyard, some homes share open spaces along the walkway where neighbours can marvel at the readily available views of the cityscape, he adds.

The Block engenders individuality as well, as although homes may share similar floor plans, each buyer gets the freedom to personalize their suites to fit their tastes. “We’ve introduced a concept where resident’s can choose their own colour for their front doors that gives them a sense of uniqueness, and another way they can know and identify their neighbours better,” Ungar says.

“What we really hope to accomplish here is give residents a sense of pride of ownership, make them proud to call the building their home, just as I’m proud to call it an Avi Urban development,” he adds.

Fast Facts
Community: Lower Mount Royal
Developer: Avi Urban
Project: The Block
Style: Apartment-style condos and live-work townhomes (only the latter are available now)
Size: Townhomes are from 1,528 to 1,675 sq. ft.
Price: Starting in the $570,000s
Directions: Near corner of 9A St. and 17th Ave. S.W.
Website: http://www.liveattheblock.com

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