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David Echaiz-McGrath WA Principal - excellent condo building design for Triple Crown Communities Principal

Designing Excellence: WA Architect David Echaiz-McGrath

Excellent condo building design starts with an excellent team of architects, and our team is WA Architects Ltd. serving Vancouver and Victoria. Their tag line ”Architecture Made Personal” encompasses their vision of fostering good relationships as a foundation of great design.

“We make a great impression. And so do our buildings.”

David Echaiz-McGrath is one of the four Principals of WA. Better residential architecture is his journey and his obsession, which started with Environmental Design from University of Manitoba, then Architecture from Carlton University. He moved around a lot in his early days as an architect; Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary then down to San Francisco during the dot-com boom.

How and when did you join WA?

“I went looking for a good firm where I could influence and make an impact in design,” says David. “After I moved back to Canada, I found WA, staked my claim in the office and learned a great deal from Neil Banich, our Design Director. I’ve been with them for over 15 years now.”

When he joined WA, the company’s primary focus at the time was shopping malls and commercial real estate. Less than five percent of their portfolio was residential.

“The experience and contacts I brought in helped us to refocus on residential,” he says, and he went to work building up their mixed-use commercial and residential portfolio.

He also brought innovative technological improvements, such as setting up a hub intranet for WA. “Kind of like an Instagram for architects and technologists,” laughs David.

Eventually, the went through a full rebranding, which included a review of their guiding principals and their evolving company identity. They became WA – an acknowledgement of their predecessor, Jim Wensley. They set out to design communities, not just buildings, and they established a strong and healthy company culture.

“We play hard, but we also work hard. That’s our office culture. We need to know people fit in the office, but they also need to have a life and outside interests to sustain them.”

How Did WA get involved with Triple Crown?

Wensley Architecture Ltd. has worked with Cliff Curtis and Stu Gordon for years. We’ve built a strong working relationship but also have become friends. Cliff and Stu’s business venture with Kent Sheldrake and Kevin Parker provided the opportunity for us to work with these gents. We found out quickly that their development/design process worked well with ours. It’s been a fortunate and rewarding relationship.

David and WA (Neil Banich was very much involved in the initial design) enjoyed the collaborative process of designing Triple Crown Community. “I appreciate their openness to discussion about the criteria. They had a vision, but it was a collaboration and discussion. They respect design. They knew how important it was for their final product.”

“They are businessmen for sure. They know what they want to do, they know how to approach it, and they let us do what we do; what we are specialized in.”

“It’s great to have clients that buy into designing a community. They don’t just gloss over the planning process to get to the work. They were totally into planning.”

“And they are fun guys to socialize with,” laughs David.

How do you approach design?

“We stay curious, and we respect what people have to say. A lot of our staff are into sustainability and into the wellness buildings. We like to design it in a way that will encourage happenstance meetings. Security is more than lock and key. It has to do with knowing your neighbours and knowing your surroundings.”

Is there a way to design a condo building so it feels more secure and friendly?

“Absolutely. Especially when you’re introducing things like common courtyards and outdoor seating spaces, a fitness studio, or a multi-purpose room. Things like this where people will have to bump into each other, working out, walking their dog. That means more eyes on the plaza and more people you know.”

“How a community is organized and how tenants inhabit a space are important considerations for a real community. We work to implement community mindedness from the beginning along with more pragmatic issues such as FSR setbacks and building height. They are all important aspect of our profession.”

What do you like most about Triple Crown’s design?

“The modern ascetic,” says David.

“Another reason I like Triple Crown so much is because it is a community within a community. I’m always assessing buildings as I drive by. A lot of times, I’ll say ‘wow, that’s beautiful’, but then I find out it’s just a residential building and there is nothing else to it. I think that’s a bit of a miss when it comes to developments.”

“Triple Crown Community has everything to offer: Fitness centers, mixed use rooms, commercial and retail spaces. It’s not just a condo building. It has much more to it.”

Learn more about Triple Crown by contacting Todd Mahovlich or Justine Connor.

Interview symbol over Triple Crown Community

Interview with Sarah Houston – Caesarstone® Accounts Manager

Caesarstone Quartz Countertops style 6041 Nordic Loft and Style 2141 Blizzard

The Best Countertops in the Industry

Caesarstone®  quartz countertops and surface products are highly regarded in the construction industry, which is why Triple Crown’s builders and designers ordered their top-rated quartz countertops for installation into Residence III and Residence IV.

Actually, it was Caesarstone® which invented and pioneered quartz surfaces on their mission to bring the beauty of earth’s raw minerals into their customer’s homes.

“Hands down, we are definitely the best quartz out there,” says Sarah Houston, Account Manager for Vancouver Island. “Our branded quartz surfaces are 93 per cent quartz content, which is really important, especially for developers and builders who are making these selections.”

The reason they use quartz is because it is one of the strongest minerals in the word. The quartz in Caesarstone’s engineered stone countertops provides advantages that are unattainable in marble, granite, or other natural stones.

“When you have a high quartz content, it’s more durable and it will last a long time. You’re not going to ever need to dispose of your countertops. These are meant to last a lifetime,” says Houston.

Caesarstone® provides a lifetime warranty on their quartz countertops. Even better, their warranty is transferable. If the first owner sells their condo, Caesarstone® will warranty their product for the next condominium owner.

“We stand behind our product.”

Sarah Houston’s Story

Indeed, it was Caesarstone’s commitment to their product which attracted Sarah to the company in the first place. “I joined Caesarstone® about two years as their account manager,” says Houston. “I came from the cabinet industry, and I wanted to join forces with a company that was well recognized and stood behind their product. That was really important to me.”

She started her new career in Alberta, then moved over to BC because (construction on) the Coast was booming. “My boss said we really needed someone to cover Vancouver Island, and I’m like, ‘send me over there!’”

Sarah and her family moved to Victoria, and they have been here for a year now. She admits she loves living here. “I’m originally from Ontario. I tell you; I’ll never move back to Ontario OR Alberta. This is the good life! It’s fantastic.”

As V.I.’s Accounts Manager, she spends much of her time with developers and builders to see if she can assist with projects they are working on. The other half her time is spent visiting architects and designers in the kitchen and bath industry. She serves the distribution channels to ensure they have all their products stocked in their libraries.

Additional Advantages of Caesarstone® Quartz Countertops

Beside a lifetime warranty on the countertops, when you purchase a condo in Residence III and IV, you can expect your countertops will be non-porous and very low maintenance.

“You need only use soap and water. It’s that simple,” says Sarah. “There’s no need for anything else. You never need to seal your counters like you would if they were natural stone. Our quartz counters are heat resistant, crack resistant, easy to maintain and very, very durable.”

The design for Residence III and Residence IV condos includes 3cm Quartz Caesarstone Nordic Loft, 6041 countertops for kitchens and main bathrooms, along with White 2141 countertops for Ensuite bathrooms. To see more details about the floorplans, click here. Our downloadable brochure has even more details.

Want to find Caesarstone® products?

Greater Victoria BC suppliers include Colonial Countertops, which supplied the Caesarstone® countertops, South Shore Cabinetry Ltd. located in the Triple Crown Community, along with, Stone Age Marble Ltd. and Abstract Stone.

Or contact Sarah Houston, Caesarstone Accounts Manager for Vancouver Island, you can reach her on her main line at 778-834-2929, or 604-638-1485, or email her at shouston@caesarstone.ca |www.caesarstone.ca

Spaciz design team in Victoria BC

Triple Crown Condominium Interior Design

The quality fit and finish you’ve come to expect from Triple Crown didn’t happen by accident. The builders employed a highly creative design team in Victoria called Spaciz. Carley Petillion is the principal designer and partner with the company, and she has a unique talent her clients attest to; the ability to really listen, then craft distinctive design features and unique combinations of colour, texture and finish that culminates into beautiful, functional spaces.

“We had worked with (the Triple Crown) team on many projects before, so we were very familiar with their product and what they are looking for in terms of materials and aesthetic,” says Petillion. “For this project, we focused on the first-time home buyers, millennials, and Gen x-ers looking for an investment property.”

Asked what inspired her design choices for Triple Crown’s condominiums, she replied, “Location and demographic were key factors, and we wanted them to be fresh and unique while avoiding anything super trendy.  We wanted the choices to be neutral enough that a buyer could picture their own furniture in the space, but also include unexpected elements.”

Petillion is called a master of the nitty gritty for a reason. She pays close attention to details, making sure every inch of a space is functional, esthetically beautiful and flows seamlessly throughout.

“We made sure the layouts were highly functional, especially the kitchens.”

What design features or attributes are you most proud of?  

“We are very proud of our simple yet impactful fireplace design.  Cabinetry design is also something we put a lot of thought and effort into.  In condo’s, it’s a challenge to ensure there’s adequate storage and work space so we’re also quite proud of the kitchens and baths.  The bathroom mirror frame doubles as a shelf to keep product off the counter!”

What was the most important consideration?

“There is a lot of competition in the condo market so while we needed to be budget conscious, we also wanted to design a space that was different from what the buyers are seeing elsewhere.”

How do you include functionality in the aesthetics of the design?

“Careful design of the cabinetry and consideration of possible furniture layouts.”

What were some of the challenges?

“Incorporating dining/eating space into some of the smaller units, and whether an island was a preferred option over a traditional dining table as some of the units only allowed for one or the other.”

When do you come in on a project, or at what stage should a project manager include you? 

“It depends a lot on what they would like help with.  Some project managers and developers only want help pulling colours and finishes together, so once they’ve applied for permit, that is when we are often contacted.  We prefer to be a part of the project from the beginning so we can iron out any issues from a design perspective before the hole is even in the ground.  This tends to save everyone a lot of headache and always gives us the opportunity to ensure the project has a high-end/designer feel.”

How can developers best work with you?

“By including us at the very early stages and allowing us to collaborate with the architects and team on the space planning of the layouts.  This is such a critical part of the process.  And just being clear on their expectations.  We want everyone to be satisfied with the result.”

Spaciz’s tag line says they “aspire to avoid predictable, question existing standards, blend visual influences, listen with fortitude, and nudge you to go further.” They succeeded with their design of Triple Crown’s Residences.

They designed a space you will be delighted to call your own.

Interview symbol over Triple Crown Community

Interview with Justine Connor

Interview with Justine Connor – Triple Crown Sales Team

We interviewed Triple Crown’s sales team member Justine Connor and asked her about the neighbourhood and amenities Triple Crown condominiums in Langford have to offer.

Mathieu: Morning Justine. Let’s start with the location. Where is the Triple Crown Community located?

Justine: It is in Langford over by Mr. Mikes. There will be 123 new units in two buildings – Residence III and Residence IV – containing a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units which we have already started to build.

Mathieu: How are clients are reacting to the building in its current state of production?

Justine: Most of the clients that I took into Residence II (completed December 2020) were extremely impressed with the size of the balconies, the size of the windows, all the natural light that comes in, how spacious the units are, and the views that you get from either side of the building.

Amenities

Mathieu: Are there amenities in the building?

Justine: Residence II has a small gym with cardio equipment and free weights. I understand there will be a large gym in the larger of the two new buildings (which owners of both buildings can use), plus each building will have an amenities room and a top floor public deck to take in the views.
Community

Mathieu: What do people think of the area around the Triple Crown Community?

Justine: A lot of people like it that it is not right in downtown Langford with the noise, hustle and bustle. They like that it is a little off the beaten track and close to the lake and nature, yet close to amenities like grocery shopping, Tim Hortons, Starbucks and a couple of pubs. Additionally, they appreciate the easy highway access for driving North or South into Langford, Colwood, or Victoria.

Demographics

Mathieu: What kind of client demographics are interested in the building?

Justine: The majority of my clients have been first time home buyers along with a few investors. Most of the people I’ve sold to are professionals in their 20s to early 30s, some with kids. It’s a family-friendly building with no age restrictions.
It’s a great investment opportunity. Residence I and Residence II 2-bed, 2-bath condos are renting for around $2200 per month.

Mathieu: How are first time home buyers reacting?

Justine: They (my clients) are all super excited as it is their first purchase. While we were building Residence II last year, our clients who joined The Winner’s Circle got to enjoy construction updates and pictures every month and read about the quality going into their purchase. They saw the excellent appliance package, the fit and finish, and other things. We made sure we kept them well informed about their purchase and let them watch as it is it being built.

Mathieu: Are many of the mind that they would rather buy a home instead of a condo?

Justine: No. Most of the people I see are just excited they can purchase something in Greater Victoria because their money can buy them a really nice, spacious place to live. Most of the Residence 2 condominiums are around 900 sq. feet., and the condos in Residence III and IV will also be quite spacious.

City of Langford

Mathieu: What draws your clients to the city of Langford?

Justine: I think price for one pf the draws. That’s because you get more bang for our buck for sure. You get a bigger size unit for your price. Additionally, Langford now has all the community amenities, which means you don’t often need to go into Victoria anymore.

Mathieu: What else do your potential buyers for Triple Crown’s final phase need to know?

Justine: If you are looking for a condo or want to get into the market, Triple Crown condos are definitely above standards as far as their finishing goes, their appliance package, and their quality of construction. The four Developers are local, Langford based. They know their customers and they have a track record of building a great product that makes their customers extremely happy.

Mathieu: Justine, thanks for taking the time for this interview.

Justine: Thank you, Matt

Justine Connor is available for questions and for a by-appointment show suite visit. If interested, you can reach her at 250-888-1059.

Interview symbol over Triple Crown Community

Interview with Todd Mahovlich

Interview with Todd Mahovlich PREC - Langford Realtor®

As demand for West Shore housing continues to outpace supply, the McCallum Group, working with Langford Realtor® Todd Mahovlich and Justine Connor, launch the final phase of Triple Crown Community.

Now under construction is Residences III and IV – two six-storey buildings consisting of 123, one-, two- and three-bedroom homes (one bedroom now sold out) priced from $549,900 with market-leading deposits of only 5%.

“The success of Triple Crown Residences I and II has fast-tracked our plans for Residences III and IV, the last phase of condominiums at Triple Crown,” says  Langford Realtor® Todd Mahovlich PREC, who is also the project’s sales coordinator. “We are pleased to offer the West Shore’s widest range of floorplans, with attainable price points, a low deposit requirement and sought-after amenities in an accessible, highly desirable location.”

The building’s design attributes emphasis angled exterior terraces and balconies to maximize sunlight and views. Each building will have outdoor ground level and roof top outdoor amenities. Residence IV will include a 1,000 square foot multi-purpose gym on the main floor. Energy-efficient ductless heat pumps come standard, and hot water is sourced through an environmentally friendly central boiler in lieu of individual in-suite water tanks.

In terms of value, Mahovlich says Triple Crown offers 20 floorplans at price points targeted at live-in buyers or investors drawn to West Shore real-estate for its proximity to nature, access to popular shopping centres, a growing collection of recreational opportunities and a slower pace of life.

“What makes the West Shore condominium market so special and in-demand by purchasers of all ages is its larger homes at more attainable prices compared to what is available in the city centre, and a more laid back, nature-oriented lifestyle,” says Mahovlich. “And with our 5% deposit structure, purchasers can secure their future home with less money up front. For buyers looking to get into Victoria’s housing market for the first time, the opportunity to put down a smaller initial deposit can make a profound difference in their ability to save for and buy their home.”

Since the sell-out and subsequent occupancy at Residences I and II, the Langford real-estate market has undergone significant change as buyers flocked to the West Shore hub amid shifts in market preferences. Suburban real-estate in particular saw demand pressures heighten, especially for two-bedroom and three-bedroom condominiums, considering increased remote work scenarios, a desire for additional space for hobby rooms or dens, and attractive price points relative to Victoria’s core.

Triple Crown’s McCallum Road location, close to big-box and small-format retail destinations, saw its Residences II sell-out in 2020 and buyers have been awaiting the subsequent phase.

“Triple Crown’s location is at the heart of a significant transformation in north Langford, and as far as the development build-out timeline is concerned, this is still considered early days which makes Triple Crown a smart real-estate play when viewed through the lens of a medium-term horizon” says Mahovlich. “We can expect even more development throughout north Langford over the years to come, and at the gateway to all of this positive change is Triple Crown.”

“We’ve now sold over 70 per cent of the pre-construction inventory. If you are interested in buying into the last phase of Triple Crown, don’t wait to call Justine Connor or I.”

You can learn more about Todd Mahovlich and other listings on his website vres.ca