Kitsilano’s Monument project speaks to neighbourhood’s history of Greek community

Kitsilano's Monument project speaks to neighbourhood's history of Greek community

The Greek community’s long history in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood has a special connection for Epta Development Corporation, the developer behind the 22-unit Monument project on Larch Street.

As Epta principal Chris Tsakumis notes, that history provided the developer an opportunity to build a legacy project in the area.

“The Greek community is inextricably linked to the fabric of the neighbourhood; it makes this endeavour as a family business — as a Greek family — all the more special and poignant,” Tsakumis says, pointing out that the scarcity of land along the West Broadway core limits the opportunities to build infill projects.

“So when a project like this comes along you tend to jump on it. We’re very eager to execute something remarkable with Monument.”

The building is intended to be an architectural statement: a contemporary aesthetic with a meaningful nod to West Coast design. Yamamoto Architecture was tasked with designing a modern building, but using exterior elements that relate to the character of the neighbourhood.

“The exterior was a culmination of putting together those West Coast elements that you would traditionally see in a lot of Vancouver architecture: so the concrete, metal cladding, longboard and natural stone are all components of the building exterior, and then softening that up with landscape elements, including the communal rooftop area, which is partially a green roof,” Tsakumis says.

The building will be a concrete-hybrid – the ground-floor level is concrete and levels two to four are constructed using cross-laminated timber, or CLT.

“Locally, CLT is being celebrated as a more sustainable alternative to concrete with all the performance benefits that we’ve become accustomed to with concrete, as it relates to noise, seismic performance and energy rating,” he says.

The amenities for Monument’s residents are on the common rooftop where green thumbs can garden. There is also a sitting area where residents will be able to enjoy summer days, and a barbecue and dining area.

The building is designed for discerning buyers who are interested in a lock-and-leave home, says Tsakumis, citing its access to local shops and amenities and future rapid transit, all in a premium location.

“Kits is Vancouver’s most attractive urban village,” he says. “I believe that we’re going to attract a lot of people who are looking to ‘right size’ locally. And again, given the fact there’s such limited supply of product, new product in particular, in Kits, I think there’s also going to be those [people who are currently in] older apartment buildings in the neighbourhood who are looking to stay in the area but want the benefits of new [homes].”

Thenterior design reflects the focus on buyers who don’t want to compromise on features like high-end appliances just because they are moving to a smaller home.

“They want the comforts that they’re accustomed to and that means delivering on an interior package that’s going to be consistent with the lifestyle that they currently have,” Tsakumis adds.

In the display kitchen at the sales centre at 2094 West 41st Avenue, the high-end Gaggenau appliances – including a five-burner gas cooktop, wall oven, speed oven, integrated refrigerator with bottom freezer and dishwasher – enhance the design with their clean lines.

The white cabinets have Shaker doors with a very fine rail to support the modern look and feel, while also including a gesture to the character homes in the area. The flat-panel doors in the island are a warm taupe-grey that pick up the grey veining in the marble-look sintered stone backsplash.

“The sintered stone backsplash will perform so much better than a real marble,” says Allisa Karvonen, associate at Insight Design Group. “It doesn’t have to be sealed, will never discolour and does not scratch – great if you want the gorgeous look of stone without the headaches and maintenance.”

Karvonen also had function top of mind when she dedicated a cupboard in the island as a recycling centre to enable residents to fulfil Vancouver’s requirements to separate recyclables like compost, paper and glass.

In the ensuite bathroom at the sales centre, marble-look 12-by-24-inch porcelain tiles clad the wall and floor, while a recessed kick gives the impression of a floating double vanity, contributing to the spacious feel in the room which is also enhanced by the shower’s frameless glass enclosure. The pulls on the cabinets were custom designed to add a refined touch to the space, which also has a large linen cupboard. Main bathrooms will include a tub.

Most laundry rooms in Monument will include a side-by-side washer and dryer and a countertop for sorting and folding laundry, Karvonen says.

While the stone-look material choices and cabinetry will be consistent throughout the units, buyers can change the look of their condo by selecting either a light oak hardwood floor, or a darker, warmer oak hardwood floor, Karvonen says.

Each home includes a parking stall and buyers of the larger units can purchase a second parking stall.

“This is a very vibrant community, and it’s all right there at your doorstep. If you’re lucky enough to live in the Kits neighbourhood, it’s easy to see why people remain ensconced here. It’s hard to give up this lifestyle,” Tsakumis says.