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Revitalizing the Village

Stradbrook condos latest stage in renaissance

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An artist’s conception of the Village Junction Condos.

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An artist’s conception of the Village Junction Condos.

Ventura Developments Inc. is poised to launch the first of what could be as many as four new infill condominium developments in the Osborne Village-Cresentwood area of the city.

"We're big believers that this is the place where people want to live," Tim Comack, vice-president of development for Ventura, said in an interview.

Comack said Ventura has already acquired enough properties to allow for four infill developments. Whether they proceed with some or all of them will depend on the public response to the first project -- a 36-unit condo complex on Stradbrook Avenue between Scott and Osborne streets.

Called the Village Junction Condos, the complex at 369 Stradbrook will feature a surface parking lot with a three-storey building built above it.

Comack wouldn't disclose where the other properties are located, saying only they're all in the Osborne Village-Cresentwood area.

A formal marketing campaign for the Village Junction project will be launched Feb. 22, with the goal of pre-selling half the units before the project will proceed.

Comack and Jonathon Freed, Ventura's director of multi-family development, both expressed confidence the pre-sale target will be met. They said the company created a website for the project (http://villagejunction.ca) several months ago and put up a large sign on the site. Both have sparked inquiries from potential buyers.

"We've been getting a lot of calls to our agents (Garry and Debbie Hirsch) already," Freed said. "We expect them (the condos) to go pretty quickly."

"The pre-sales will dictate when we break ground," Comack said, adding they hope to begin construction in April. The complex will take about 12 months to complete.

Village Junction is Ventura's first infill condo project, although Comack said it has done at least 10 to 15 of them in suburban developments over the last decade.

He noted Village Junction is one of several residential complexes in the works for the stretch of Stradbrook between Osborne and Donald streets.

"That street is really starting to be revitalized. A lot of the good sites have been taken up and built on along the River (Avenue) portion (of the Village). Now it's Stradbrook's turn."

He and Freed said they expect the Village Junction condos to appeal to young professionals, first-time buyers and some older, empty-nest buyers seeking the kind of urban lifestyle Osborne Village offers.

"From an urban perspective, Osborne Village is probably the best place in Winnipeg to live," Comack said. "You've got yoga (studios), you've got retail, you've got fitness (clubs), you've got coffee shops and restaurants all just outside your door."

Osborne Village also has something a downtown neighbourhood such as the Exchange District doesn't yet offer -- a full-service grocery store, he added.

Freed said Ventura has designed and priced the condos with younger buyers in mind. All of the units will have an open-concept design, with a large balcony, a large master bedroom, a large kitchen and in-suite laundry and storage areas.

They include one-bedroom-plus-den and two-bedroom units ranging in size from 770 square feet to 1,000 square feet. The pre-sale price range will be $214,900 to $289,900. Each unit will come with a parking stall, with 31 stalls on site and five on an adjacent lot.

Although Ventura will be using wood-frame rather than concrete-block construction, Comack said extra insulation is being added to the floors and walls to provide even better sound-proofing levels than concrete-block construction would provide.

Freed said stainless-steel appliances, wood-grain, thermofoil cabinets and vinyl plank flooring will be standard features, although buyers can upgrade to things like engineered hardwood floors and granite countertops.

To help encourage early sales, Comack said Ventura will be offering incentives such as granite countertops during the pre-sale period.

-- -- --

One of the city's most unusual condo projects -- it will look like a giant spaceship hovering four storeys above the ground when it's completed -- is inching closer to liftoff.

Green Seed Development Corp. hopes to break ground this spring on its 62M project at the corner of McDonald Avenue and Waterfront Drive.

The company has already achieved its pre-sales target, having sold half the 40 units in the complex.

Now it's waiting to finalize its purchase of a small piece of city-owned land -- a portion of a back lane -- that divides the two properties on which the new complex will be built.

"It's a formality, but it has to be done," company president Mark Penner said in an interview. "But the t's for the most part have been crossed and the i's for the most part are dotted. We're in the home stretch."

As earlier reported, the complex will be circular in shape, two storeys high and will sit on a pedestal 11 metres above the ground. There will be 20 condos per floor, each 608 square feet in size. They'll all be wedge-shaped, with a seven-metre-wide, floor-to-ceiling wall of windows at the front.

Penner said the 20 units that are still available range in price from $199,000 to $220,000, depending on the view. The complex is expected to take about a year to build.

Winnipeg-based Green Seed also developed the You Cube condos on Waterfront Drive.

 

Know of any newsworthy or interesting trends or developments in the local office, retail, or industrial real estate sectors? Let real estate reporter Murray McNeill know at the email address below, or at 204-697-7254.

murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 10, 2014 B4

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