Life

CONDO CULTURE: Lowrise building fits into neighbourhood 0

SARAH ROWLAND, 24 HOURS
Alba's 108 homes feature fresh interiors that include spectacular, fully-equipped gourmet kitchens with premium appliance packages, engineered stone countertops, sleek high-gloss cabinetry and laminate wood flooring for a mix of texture and durability. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

Alba's 108 homes feature fresh interiors that include spectacular, fully-equipped gourmet kitchens with premium appliance packages, engineered stone countertops, sleek high-gloss cabinetry and laminate wood flooring for a mix of texture and durability. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

Ma and pa bakeries. Family run Italian delis. Old school barbershops. Hastings-Sunrise has no shortage of nostalgic charm. And even though it's becoming a bit of a hotspot for developers, it's safe to say that no one wants to see this historical neighbourhood lose any of that original character. So the trick, then, is finding a way to revitalize as needed without gentrifying the area's multicultural, down-home vibe.

Mindful of this delicate balance, the London Drugs Limited development team set out to consult with local residents as much as possible before launching plans to replace its aging store on East Hastings with a completely new 30,000 square foot retail space.

One of the earlier proposals was to erect a modern mixed-use mid-rise building with five-to-ten stories soaring atop the forthcoming store. But after conducting focus groups, hosting community meetings and listening to customer feedback, that plan was scrapped in lieu of Alba - a smaller, funkier brick-veneer building with only four floors of residential units above the new and improved London Drugs.

Alba will have a total of 108 one and two-bedroom condos, ranging between 600 and 800 square feet. That may seem modest in size, but the innovative floor plans are sure to make each apartment feel much larger. Alba will be ready for occupancy in 2014. But the official grand opening is this Saturday, July 21. With a starting price of $317,900, these suites are relatively affordable not just for new residents, but also for the people who helped make this 'hood the gem that it is today.

For more info, check out the Alba sales centre at 2642 E. Hastings St., open Monday to Thursday 1 - 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 12 - 5 p.m. and closed Fridays.


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