After finding a triplex at the end of its life at the corner of River Avenue and Nassau Street, the brain trust at Paragon Design Builders visualized a luxury apartment occupying the mid-sized lot.
Question was, what was the best way to get the most out of the infill project, which would bring 20 much-needed rental units to Osborne Village at 530 River Avenue.
"It's the type of challenge we love," says Nigel Furgus, Paragon's president and founder. "Designing the building was challenging due to the irregular, U-shaped lot. It was even more challenging because we wanted to put in underground parking."
Once approval for the project was obtained from the city, construction began in late summer 2020.
As expected, there were plenty of challenges, primary among them the underground parkade. It will offer 12 stalls, while another eight will be available at ground level next to the building.
"It took us eight weeks to build the parkade," says Furgus, adding that its entrance ramp was outfitted with a hydronic heating system to prevent snow build-up in the winter. "We shored up the parkade with timbers sourced from British Columbia set in concrete every two feet."
With the underground parking issue solved, the next challenge was designing the building.
"We worked closely with the city and Affinity Architecture on the design - its aesthetics, function and size. Eventually, we arrived at the size - it would be four storeys high to fit in with the area, and have 20 suites, as we hoped it would."
Turns out, another feat was achieved during construction on this challeging site- putting an elevator in this 20 unit, four-storey, wood frame building.
"We felt it would make life easier for residents, so we’re pleased that we managed to include it,” says Furgus. “As for the building’s exterior, it features modern Hardie board paneling, EZ Trim and beautiful limestone limestone column detailing that connects with the historic, turn-of-century buildings on the street."
Likewise, Paragon is proud of the suites themselves, which feature the interior design magic of Zoe Henry Design.
Featuring one-bedroom, one bath and two-bedroom, two bath suites ranging in size from 550 sq. ft. to 900 sq. ft., units will feature bright, open concept interiors and luxurious finishes.
"Finishes include high-end luxury plank (light oak) flooring, quartz countertops, textured melamine cabinets and stainless appliances,” he says. “There will also be energy-efficient LED lighting and unique lighting and vanity fixtures that lend to the character of Osborne Village."
Each suite also figures to be exceptionally comfortable, adds Furgus.
"All suites come with a high-efficient Lennox air handler and air conditioning unit to maximize comfort year-round," he notes. "Each suite will be metered for electricity and water, and 90 per cent of suites come with walk-out balconies. Ground floor suites will have awesome walk-out patios, and the building will be surrounded by planters, plus sidewalks on either side."
Residents of 530 River Ave. will also be able to rest easy in the knowledge that they're coming home to a safe, secure building.
"The underground parkade and above-ground parking will be well-lit, and the building will be very secure with its state-of-the-art, card access system," says Furgus. "Our residents’ safety is a top priority."
So too is providing value to every resident.
"High speed internet is included, and rent prices are 10 per cent below market rates in the area - rents will range from $1,210 per month for the smaller one-bedroom suites to $1,798 monthly for the largest two-bedroom units. We will also have a property manager available who will respond quickly to any maintenance requests that residents have."
Furgus says the building - which is already 35 per cent rented – is scheduled to be completed in March, with move-ins commencing shortly after.
"We want to do all we can to make 530 River Ave. a wonderful place to come home to," he says. "We're quite proud of the project and believe that it's a great rental option that will offer the location and affordable luxury that people are looking for in Osborne Village."