Couple discovers Gateway to downsizing

CINDY STEPHEN | Calgary Herald | Updated: July 23, 2019

Susan and Ashley Nicolas are downsizing and discovered the location and lifestyle offered at Gateway by Truman Homes in West District fit their needs perfectly.CHRISTINA RYAN / POSTMEDIA

Ashley and Susan Nicholas aren’t quite sure when they’ll be ready to downsize from their large family home to a condo, but they’ve already figured out where they’ll go.

The couple, who live in home on a quarter-acre lot in Springbank Hill, have purchased a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in Gateway by Truman Homes in West District. They have no immediate plans of occupying the unit on the sixth floor of the eight-storey building — it was just too good a deal to pass up.

“We’re looking at our future as our children grow and leave and wanted a lock and leave condo. We’ve lived in this area for 15 years and want to stay. There aren’t any projects like the Truman project and getting in early ensures this opportunity. We wanted to lock that down now,” says Ashley, who has recently retired.

They purchased the 2i floor plan, a 1,190-square-foot corner unit with a 639-square-foot south and west facing wrap-around balcony with mountain views. The base price of the model is $600,900.

“It’s so bright and open with floor-to-ceiling windows all around. The same windows you’d find in a high-end hotel or an office tower downtown,” he says.

“We did our homework. We went everywhere. We just always came back to Gateway and found the quality they offered was hard to find anywhere else. There are no upgrades to add because Truman has done it all, which made it really easy.”

Gateway’s standard features include chevron floors, custom quartz countertops and backsplashes created specifically for the project, says Oliver Trutina, Truman vice-president.

“This is all unique stuff that took us six to eight months to develop. Our spec level is through the roof. We’ve set the bar very high — we’re setting new benchmarks for the condo market for sure. To be able to offer these amenities and to keep prices in the $299,000 to $2.1 million-plus range — we’re proud of that,” he says.

Gateway has one- and two-bedroom condos, three-bedroom penthouses with split-level sky townhomes and ground-level brownstones. Five new show suites opened recently in the Discovery Centre and construction is underway on the pedestrian-focussed Broadcast Avenue, the main street in the 10-year West District project.

“We have just one penthouse suite left. Some of the higher-end units are moving well and we’re excited and surprised by that. People aren’t looking at the cheapest. They want the unit that fits their lifestyle and meets their expectations for livability, longevity and the potential for it to appreciate. We’re hitting that out of the park with the buyers we’re getting,” Trutina says.

Gateway is a mixed-use building with ground-level retail space opening onto 20-foot wide tree-lined sidewalks with 120 feet between buildings.

“The first building is 90 per cent leased and the second one is 50 per cent leased,” he says.

Susan, a bank executive who works downtown, says they had Gateway on their radar for some time.

“We’re looking forward to seeing West District progress, especially with the big park they’re putting in. The walking lifestyle is another thing that attracted us to this place,” she says. “Also, the esthetics of the building are timeless. It will never look dated — it’s something that will hold its appeal over the long term.”

She and Ashley are on a first-name basis with George Trutina, the patriarch of family-run Truman, who is on-site at West District every day.

“George takes a personal approach to his customers. He comes over to talk to us if we’re in the parking lot — he knows us and he knows what unit we bought. We can see the value he holds in the project. He’s on it and he’s all over it,” Susan says.

The Nicholas’ unit will be ready in December and they may lease it out until they’re ready to sell their home and take up residence.

“One daughter has already left and the second is waiting for her own place to be built and moving out within the next 12 months. It will be a huge lifestyle change for us. We haven’t been empty nesters yet. But, when the last one moves out, we might have a different perspective. We’ll see,” Susan says.

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