Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Camrose Gardens generates 'a lot of interest'

Condo development in River Heights selling well

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A brand new condo development in an older established neighborhood is the recipe for success in a hot real estate market.

Camrose Gardens is a new condominium project in River Heights, located on Grant Avenue at Lanark Street. Although it's still only a vision on paper, the project is capturing the attention of many in the area.

"It's certainly generating a lot of interest," says Danny Akman of the Akman Group, which purchased the land five years ago. "There's been lots of traffic."

When they bought the land, Akman says they had always thought it was a prime piece of property for development. The 4.35-acre site, which was formerly home to Ramah Hebrew School, is located close to major amenities in south River Heights and has turned out to be the perfect spot for an infill development.

Camrose Gardens has been selling well since marketing efforts were kicked off at the beginning of June. Michael Dubienski of Re/Max Real Estate is selling the project along with fellow realtors Carol Leskiw and Phil Sheegl.

"It's been going great," says Dubienski. "We're averaging two sales per week -- that's great when we don't even have anything on the site."

Camrose Gardens consists of two identical concrete buildings, each with 24 condominium units. The buildings will face each other on either side of a circular drive off Grant Avenue. Buyers can choose from three floor plans, which are all a variation of a two bedroom, two bathroom unit.

Keeping in the flavour of River Heights, the three models have been named after streets in the area. The Taylor is 1,132 square feet, the Lanark is 1,130 square feet and the Renfrew is 1,150 square feet. All three plans are very similar with the exception of the placement of the rooms.

Dubienski says the condos, which range in price from $163,900 to $169,900, are being built for quality. The units come complete with an added $10,000 of upgrades, including fibreglass, triple pane windows, a balcony, nine-foot ceilings, central air and forced-air electric heat.

The units are also vented outside, both from the kitchen and bathroom and come complete with a spot in the heated parking garage.

Construction is set to start on July 15 and should take about 10 months to complete, Dubienski notes. People who buy now can lock in the pre-building rates, which he says are likely to go up once building begins.

"There is an incentive to buy now," he says. "The more we sell, the sooner we go into the ground."

Buying now also means people can select the ideal location and get a two-hour free consultation with interior designer Barry Corey of Corey Design. Buyers have a choice of carpet and kitchen styles and can upgrade any fixtures they like.

"We will even make modifications to walls to try to accommodate people," Dubienski adds.

Another big selling feature of Camrose Gardens is the condo fees. Monthly fees will range from $192 to $197. Dubienski says the low condo fees and the newness of the building are making it really attractive to potential buyers.

The majority of people who have been buying condos are from the area, Dubienski notes. They can stay in an established residential area close to the amenities they are used to and don't have to uproot themselves or go through a major move.

"People seem to be very ecstatic that they get to stay in the area," says Dubienski. "The project really seems to be meeting a lot of peoples' wishes."

While the developers are concentrating on selling the two large buildings of Camrose Gardens, a second phase of the project will be launched in the next couple of months. The land at the back of the property will be the site of seven smaller buildings, each housing two bungalow-style units. The 1,375 or 1,500 square foot bungalows will each have an attached garage.

Dubienski has no doubt that the second phase will sell out quickly. He already has a list of 50 names of people who want to be notified immediately when the bungalows go up for sale.

"It's really exciting," he says. "The feedback from the general public is that it's been about time."

The Camrose Gardens on-site sales office is open 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 22, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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