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Power of Water

Within hours of launching a slick condo west of Westboro, there were 37 sold units, almost all with views of the Ottawa River

Water is golden for Charlesfort owner Doug Casey and the slick condo he launched last Friday afternoon.

The Richmond Road sales office for the Continental, a 16-storey building with views across the Ottawa River, was packed with potential buyers and, within hours, Casey had written up 10 sales and Wendy Bennett, director of marketing and sales for Charlesfort, finalized another 27 agreements.

"It was busy, very busy," says Casey, with uncharacteristic understatement. "The sales centre was full," he adds, estimating there were 350 to 400 people who pre-registered to have a first view of the plans and a chance to be an early buyer.

Units in the Continental, a 16-storey building with views across the Ottawa River, below left, are
being snapped up by buyers. Top left, the lobby of the Continental is decidedly elegant.

Units in the Continental, a 16-storey building with views across the Ottawa River, below left, are being snapped up by buyers. Top left, the lobby of the Continental is decidedly elegant.

"Many who came, stayed and bought," says the builder, who seems to have a golden touch for finding sites and building successful condos in the downtown core.

"You just never know what is going to happen," he says. "We like the downtown, but we came west, found this site. It is very good.

"Water is good."

In fact, each one of the 14 Nautilus condos, models designed for the northern corners of the building, quickly sold to a mixture of older and younger buyers. Many already live in the neighbourhood and want to stay in the community, says Casey.

"They want to get away from stairs and also have the benefits of getting away from cutting the grass and shovelling snow," says Casey, who worked with the architectural offices of Barry Hobin to design the Continental, which sits on a large parcel of land on Richmond Road and Cleary Avenue. Woodroffe Avenue is a bit to the west and a narrow strip of homes and the National Capital Commission's Western Parkway are between the Continental and the Ottawa River.

Earlier this spring, Casey and his team hired a cherrypicker, a machine that lifts workers up to repair street lighting, to get a view of the river. Anybody buying on the sixth floor and up will have a clear view of the river and the Gatineau Hills.

The north side of the Continental offers the best views, but there are sight-lines on the south side because the building is angled on the lot, which neighbours the Unitarian Church.

All of the Nautilus models were the first to sell, as well as the Sovereign, a 1,655-square-foot condo planned for the top three floors.

Smaller condos, including the 845-square-foot Oceanic, have also been snapped up.

The condos start at $220,000 for the 673-square-foot Mauritania, which is located on the second floor on the western side of the building, going up to $755,000 for the 1,655-squarefoot Sovereign located on the north and east corner of the 15th floor.

"Many of the buyers are well-heeled and they appreciate a modern building with nine-foot ceilings and laundry facilities in the condo," says Casey.

There were plans for a second, five-storey building, but plans may well change to provide extra parking, suggests Casey, adding many buyers want parking for two cars.

Indoor heated parking is an additional $27,500 and annex parking will be $20,000.

The Continental will have some commercial space on the first floor, a roof-top terrace and common areas on the lower levels for residents.

The condos offer neat balconies which are recessed into the building, offering protection on blustery days.

Call 613-567-7800, 613-233-0044 or visit www.charlesfort.ca for more information.

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