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On Site: Builder serves up Kitchener condos with a Hogtown feel Add to ...

CLAIRIDGE AT VICTORIA COMMON, KITCHENER-WATERLOO

DEVELOPER Queensgate Developments (Kitchener) Inc.

BUILDERS Queensgate Developments and Losani Homes

SIZE 585 to 890 square feet

PRICE $191,900 to more than $284,900

SALES CENTRE 310 Louisa St., at St. Leger Street in Kitchener. Open Mondays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.; weekends from noon to 5 p.m.

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CONTACT Phone 1-888-240-5332 or visit victoriacommon.com

The developer behind a new master-planned community in Kitchener-Waterloo aspired to build an urban, pedestrian-friendly destination where residents revel in vibrant public squares by day and retreat to ultra-stylish digs by night.

Two design firms based in Toronto, Architecture Unfolded and Bryon Patton and Associates, were recruited to give the first of five buildings big-city style with a suburban price tag, starting at $189,900.

“They’re high quality buildings – something you’d find in the King Street West corridor in Toronto – but it’s half the price of downtown Toronto condominiums … and that’s going to make this unique,” says Bruno Suppa, vice-president of Queensgate Developments (Kitchener) Inc.

“We’re about 75 to 80 per cent sold and we’re going to be launching a second building later this month. So the project’s been well received.”

Construction is already under way at the corner of St. Leger and Louisa streets to transform the site of a former tannery into a modern and sustainable community with 220 freehold and condominium townhouses by Losani Homes and 677 suites in five mid-rises up to 12 storeys tall by Queensgate.

“What sets us apart also is that we are a community, not just one building,” says Mr. Suppa. “It’s the largest urban development in the Region of Waterloo.”

In addition, the development, known as Victoria Common, will house a piazza with a clock tower, splash pad, concert podium and benches, as well as cafés and retail outlets.

“The whole concept of the project was to try to have an urban project that invites people in,” says Mr. Suppa. “So we are going to build an activity-oriented piazza with things like a skating rink in the winter time, bocce courts and pizza ovens, and people may be selling things on the weekend.”

Buyers of all ages will also find amenities nearby to catch their fancy, from recreational facilities at the city’s oldest greenspace, Victoria Park, to shops, restaurants and farmers market in downtown Kitchener and uptown Waterloo.

“A short bike ride gets you to a lot in the city and you can walk to a lot of places,” Mr. Suppa notes. “There’s good transit around the city – we’re just five minutes away from the GO Train, and the same distance away from the new LRT on King Street, so this is well situated.”

In addition to the city supports two hospitals, universities and countless high-tech enterprises. “The City of Kitchener itself has a very strong, high-tech job marketplace, so the city is going to be booming over the next 20 years,” Mr. Suppa adds.

As a tribute to the site’s industrial past, the first building, called Claridge, will feature a brick, glass and steel shell wrapped around 77 units, a fitness studio and party room.

“The benefit to this building – and the next one – is that it’s only four storeys,” says Mr. Suppa. “People don’t necessarily want to live in skyscrapers. This has more of a human feel to it.”

Buyers can select from one- and two-bedroom plans with or without open or enclosed dens, open living, dining and kitchen areas with granite counters and stainless steel appliances, plus balconies, terraces or patios.

As a bonus, all five buildings will utilize geothermal, co-generation and solar technology to dramatically reduce residents’ carbon footprint and operation costs, keeping monthly fees to 38 cents per square feet.

“Those are features that a lot of projects don’t have,” adds Mr. Suppa.

Other tangible green features will include low-E argon filled windows and eco-friendly landscaping.

Parking will be included with units at Clairidge, which will be ready for occupancy next summer.

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