Living with elan downtown means never living with ‘Kita’

Saturday, February 26th, 2005

Michael Sasges

Living with élan downtown means never living with ‘Kita’

Presentation centre address: 1295 Seymour (at Drake), Vancouver

Presentation centre telephone: 604-696-9030

Hours: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. daily, except Fridays

On offer: 229 apartments and townhouses

Prices: Studio, 472 – 630 sq. ft., $199,900; two-bedroom apartment + roof deck, $499, 900; ”cityhome,” about 1,000 sq. ft., $519,900

Developer: Cressey Architect: Paul Merrick

The terms of endearment used by builders and developers to woo the downtown new-home buyer took a decidedly passionate turn this week with the launch of the marketing campaign for the $80 million elan residential tower.

Costing about $500,000 to build, decorate and furnish, the elan presentation centre features three “lifestyle pods” to transform visitors into prospects.

A “morning” kitchen (facing page, top left), an “evening” scheme (facing page, bottom left)) and a “night” kitchen (top middle) demonstrate that, indeed, new-home temptation and seduction, like the devil, is in the details.

Each has been individualized with fittings and finish.

“Morning,” for example, tops the island sink with a gooseneck faucet; “evening,” with a single-lever faucet; “night,” a single-lever, gooseneck faucet.

The millwork in the “morning” kitchen is cherry; in “evening” it’s white; and in “night” it’s teak.

One constant in the three kitchens, besides the obvious, like the location of the cooktop and oven is behind the lower double doors on the left: They open on a front-loading washer and dryer.

The presentation centre’s designer, Kari Henshaw at Insight Design Inc., said her goal with the elan assignment was to create generally “an experience” for visitors and specifically with the pods “three completely different vibes.”

“Morning is classic, timeless, clean lines,” she dares you to deny. “Evening is a more modern, contemporary, minimalist feel ready for that kind of person who likes simplicity and the clean edge of the colour white.

“And the third pod is more hip and funky, a bit risque, not for all.”

Developer representative Hani Lammam says the presentation centre is an acknowledgement from Cressey that the metro Vancouver new-home buyer generally and the downtown buyer specifically is an extraordinarily astute consumer.

“It’s a brand signalling the individuality and urbanity of the downtown new-home buyer.

“Nowhere in Canada do we see this level of sophistication utilized to sell a home.”

The project’s marketer, MAC Real Estate, generated early publicity last summer, by inviting the public to name the project.

The website campaign generated hundreds of candidate names, with Kita, Spira and Meta among the more tempting considered and not used.

“Why just live, when you can live with elan,” the marketing campaign’s slogan soundly trumps “Why just live, when you can live with Kita.”

The developer introduced the centre Thursday with a “club” affair headlined by somebody called Kyprios (below) (“Parental Advisory: Explicit Content; Content Explicite . . . ,” his CD reads.)

© The Vancouver Sun 2005

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