October 1, 2012

Shaughnessy Splendour

Situated in one of the city’s prime heritage landscapes, close to downtown and just steps away from transportation, The Crescent on McRae enjoys the perfect location.

STORY CATHERINE DUNWOODY

Photos Wayne Leidenfrost / PNG

Shaughnessy. The name itself is synonymous with luxury living here in Vancouver – since 1908 this prestigious neighbourhood, with its heritage homes and stately presence, has some of the most coveted addresses on the city’s west side. Visionary developer Brian Bell, of Arthur Bell Holdings Ltd., has recently put on the market his long-awaited ‘The Crescent on McRae’ townhomes, located on the northern tip of Shaughnessy near the now heritage-protected Nichol house.

Bell’s developments are numerous, but most notable are the Fifth Avenue Cinemas building, plus the heritage restoration and redevelopment of the CIBC building at Fourth and Yew. “The Nichol house is a century-old Samuel MacLure-designed home that sits on one acre of the original 2.3-acre property, and is separate from our new development,” Bell explained on our tour of the Crescent site. “The balance of this property was an empty lot for the most part of 100 years, so we re-subdivided and The Crescent on McRae sits on the remaining 1.3 acres. We didn’t demolish anything, or take away any housing – this was nothing but a compost heap with coyotes.”

The Crescent consists of 15 luxury townhouse units constructed of concrete and steel, clad in brick and sandstone, ranging in size from 1,350 to 3,500 square feet and priced from just under $2 million to just under $6 million. The property is gold-rated by BuiltGreen BC, has eco-friendly geo-thermal heating and cooling, two types of energy efficient exterior wall insulation and double paned wood framed windows. Even the interior walls are all insulated for sound attenuation.

Each townhouse has either two or three storeys of living space, private back patio and its own roof deck with exceptional views. All units have their own private garage with direct access to each home, the largest five of which have their own in-suite elevators. Of course, with the property being on McRae at Granville and 16th, it’s situated a short walk to South Granville Rise, is just a block from Vancouver Lawn Tennis Club, and is a five-minute drive to downtown.

A dream-team of local talent is responsible for the build and look of this project, including Formwerks Architectural’s award-winning architect James Bussey, landscape architect Paul Sangha, general contractor Axiom Builders and interior designer Mona Foreman, of Sheffield Design Studio. The kitchens and laundry facilities contain top of the line appliances, like Wolfe ovens, microwaves, gas cooktops and fans, plus Sub-Zero fridges, freezer drawers and wine coolers, Asko dishwashers and washer/dryers. The wood cabinets in the kitchens, as well as the bathrooms and laundry rooms, are from German cabinetmaker Eggersmann.

Stone countertops are in granite or marble, plus a huge pantry and lots of storage utilize all the kitchen space, especially with the rooms’ 10-foot ceilings. No two units are exactly the same. “There are five different colour and style schemes, all installed, and they might appear only in one other unit, but with different woods for panelling, different handles, etc., so that every unit is unique and doesn’t have that cookie cutter feel,” explained Bell. All living and family rooms have gas fireplaces with a manufactured stone-surround that provide a nice, clean look, the largest unit having a third fireplace in the upstairs study.

Bedrooms are generously sized, each with their own bathroom. Master bedrooms have coffered ceilings and huge his-and-hers walk-in closets, meant to be customized. Perfect for shoe-lovers. Bathrooms have a variety of top of the line fixtures from manufacturers such as Kohler, Dornbracht, Grohe, and Toto. Walk-in showers are frameless glass enclosures, with hand-held and rain shower heads, the larger units also with deep soaker tubs.

Each home has a ground-floor private patio with a portion of covered space (a must here in rain-city) with brick herringbone pattern pavers and extensive landscaping with hydrangeas, ferns, plus gas connections for fire pits, barbecues and stereo hookups, all ready for entertaining. Roof decks are accessed through an opening skylight and the planter boxes with grasses and flowering azaleas provide perimeter security and privacy.

The Crescent’s impressive grounds are gated and serene with pathways, waterfalls, bridges, pond with fountain, tall trees and benches for seating. Stone masonry throughout adds to the elegance of the property. Without a doubt, this new development maintains the integrity of the neighbourhood. “We’ve been told it looks like it’s been here for years,” says Brian Bell. That may well be his highest compliment. For more information contact MacDonald Realty’s Lynn Johnson, Heather Notman, Vita Kalns, or Bruce Warner at 604-652-2515.

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