Recently, there has been alot of buzz about hotel/condo projects, the most recent project is AVA. AVA had their sneak preview sessions last week. The events were so well received that they are scheduling the 2nd series of sneak preview events for Oct 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
During the events, an hour of presentation was given by Blaine Weber, Principal architect for Weber + Thompson. Among a number of other things, Blaine talked about the location of AVA relative to the neighborhood buildings.
- To the north side of AVA is a high end apartment building, Olivian Tower currently under construction.
- Across the street from AVA is Olive 8, another luxury hotel/condo project scheduled for completion in late 2008 — about the same height as AVA.
- To the east of AVA is a historic building, the Camlin Hotel.
With the transit terminal right below the huge lot to the east, they are unlikely to obstruct the views of AVA's east-facing units.
AVA will stand at a height of 41 stories with hotel units on levels 8 to15, condo units on level 16 to 33, and custom homes from level 34 to 38. A sky lounge and outdoor common terrace is on level 38. Garret Cord Werner will be designing the interior of these homes. Two other projects designed by Weber +Thompson, Cristalla and Madison Tower, used darker glass for the exterior of the building to satisfy the building code and efficiency requirements. In the case of AVA, a new high performance and high-tech clear glass will be used to deliver much brighter and more open feeling windows.
A connecting plaza will be located on the south side of AVA which will feature a 5 star restaurant with soaring 30+ foot ceilings. Seven 2-story town homes can be found on level 2 to 5 which will wrapped around the above-grade parking garage. These homes are not offered yet but they are taking names for interested parties. On the street level, there will be a separate entrance for hotel guests and for residences so you can sneak into the building without going through the formal front hotel entrance.
Hotel- Lobby, concierge and restaurants
Condo-Port Cochere (Alley entrance), concierge, lobby
Condo-Yoga room, kitchen, lounge, library, common terrace
Hotel-Roof terrace, function room, meeting rooms
Condo-Yoga, fitness center and common terrace with outdoor pool
Condo- Sky lounge and common terrace
Prices start at $400,00's to $5 million with homes ranging in size from 550 to 1,800 square feet. Price ranges will be provided during the sneak preview event with a commitment to not going over the upper end of the quoted range. To reserve a unit, a $10,000 deposit is required. Final purchase of the unit can be as early as Dec 2007. Completion is scheduled for late 2009.
A few personal observations from the event:
- A lot of thought seems to have been put into the design of the exterior and the materials selected all seem to have good reasons for them.
- They were very creative in disguising the above grade parking with town homes, what Weber referred to as "upholstering".
- The convenience of the transit terminal next to the building allows visitors to hop on the light rail to the airport and walk a block to your doorstep.
Overall, AVA has a great design and attractive location. It's a solid offering but not necessarily head and shoulders above other hotel/condo projects out there.