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No-compromise condos

Red Oak project all about the corners not cut

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The problem with some new condominium developments is square footage and quality finishes are often sacrificed to maintain an affordable price point.

That won't be the case with Red Oak Condominiums, said the Urban Agent, Re/Max Performance Realty's Bill Thiessen.

"This new development is going to be positioned in a great spot, at 1425 Molson St. in East Kildonan," he said. "The great thing about these condominiums is that nothing will be sacrificed. For starters, units will all be a good size at around 1,000 square foot each. Suites -- each one will have two bedrooms and one bathroom -- will also feature upgraded finishes."

To say the least, the list of standard finishes is impressive.

"Granite and quartz countertops will be standard. So will imported solid-wood kitchens, engineered hardwood floors and five high-end stainless steel appliances," he said. "By making those finishes standard, the developers, Carrington Homes, want to make the buying experience that much easier for people. There will be no need to haggle over finishes. All you need to do is choose your unit, and away you go -- a buying experience that's as stress-free as possible."

Meanwhile, the experience of living in the units promises to be a highly enjoyable one thanks to an interior that's been designed to be as user-friendly as possible.

"I think people are going to love three of the units' design features," said Thiessen. "First, the ceilings are going to be nine feet high. Second, all windows (tri-pane, argon-filled) are going to be huge to encourage as much natural light to flow in as possible. Because of the way units are going to be positioned (four units per floor in the two-storey buildings), everyone will get a corner. That feature alone makes for more glass, and, as a result, more light entering the unit."

The third design feature pertains to the suites' layout, he added.

"Each suite will feature an open-concept design that will make for great flow both in terms of traffic and light -- it will be easy to move around in the suites, and each unit will be bright throughout. The floor plan is a good one, too. The two bedrooms will be placed at opposite ends of the suite for separation and privacy, and a nice bonus is that each unit will have its own front door."

Thiessen noted the suites will be unique in what figures to be a very positive way for allergy sufferers.

"There won't be any carpet in the suites -- all the walking surfaces will be either hardwoods or vinyl (the latter in the bathroom and laundry/storage room). This time around, the developers went with the (floating) engineered hardwoods to reduce sound transference, as they found the hardwoods in the Gates on Henderson -- because they were nailed down -- caused noise to travel between suites. Engineered hardwoods are going to make the suites that much quieter."

To keep construction costs under control, the developers are going the wood-frame route with each of the four buildings at Red Oak Condominiums. That doesn't mean noise is going to be an issue, said Thiessen.

"Today's wood-frame technology is so much better than all the old wood-frame buildings that dot the city. Walls will be staggered and insulated, acoustic blankets are going to be employed in key areas, and there's going to be Gyp-crete between floors to further minimize sound transference," he said. "The same technology was used at the Gates on Henderson, and residents there have told us they haven't had any major noise issues."

A pair of other design features figure to give the units -- especially main-floor ones -- a home-like feel.

"One key thing people should know is that main-floor units are going to be built right at grade -- there won't be any steps," said Thiessen. "That ease of entry is a great feature for people who have to use a cane, walker or wheelchair due to mobility problems. Another feature people are going to enjoy are the patios and balconies. They will be eight feet by 16 feet and will have plenty of room to hold a storage locker, table and barbeque."

Finally, Red Oak Condominiums -- prospective buyers can check out a display suite at the Gates of Henderson to get a feel of suite layouts -- will be an affordable place to call home.

"Condominium fees are going to be a very reasonable $175 per month, while prices are going to start at $235,000. That will give folks like first-time buyers and empty-nest couples a chance to get a new home at a very affordable price point," he said. "With all the high-end finishes (including three interior colour palettes to choose from), space and a floor plan that puts the emphasis on livability, these units are going to offer exceptional value."

For more information on Red Oak Condominiums -- the first building in the four-phase project is expected to be completed by late fall/early winter -- call Bill Thiessen at 204-946-5639 or 204-255-4204.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 2, 2013 F7

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