Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Nov. 16 2012, 4:30 PM EST
The Burkebrook Town Manors exteriors echo the architecture of existing streetcapes with small bricks, pre-cast textures and decorative railings. Inside, high ceilings provide a sense of space and lights.
Don Pugh, vice president of lowrise for the Daniels Corp., is quite used to would-be buyers lining up overnight when his company launches one of its FirstHome communities which offer affordable homes to first-time buyers.
However what “surprised the heck out of me” was that people camped out overnight in anticipation of the opening of the Burkebrook Town Manors (http://www.theburkebrooktowns.com) earlier this year at Daniels’ luxury community, Kilgour Estates, in the exclusive Lawrence Park neighbourhood.
Just three of the 21 Burkebrook townhomes remain for sale; they will close out all phases of Kilgour Estates, which sits on 12 manicured acres that were once part of the 200-acre property bought in 1909 by by Sir Joseph Kilgour, a former president of the Canada Paper Company, who established his country estate Sunnybrook Farms there.
Since it acquired the site from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (which sits just west of Kilgour Estates), Daniels has set about creating a master-planned community that would reflect the tradition of grand residences and the prestige of the neighbourhood.
Today, Daniels has transformed the property on the edge of the Burke Brook Ravine into a natural pedestrian-friendly enclave that provides a peaceful escape from the stresses of city life.
For the final phase of Kilgour Estates, which includes midrise condos with townhomes at the base and stately bungalows, Daniels chose to offer the three-storey town manors, which range in size from 1,950 to 2,000 square feet. High-end townhouses tucked into little pockets of desirable neighbourhoods are growing and popular market trend.
While Daniels had success with the bungalows it offered at Kilgour Estate, that started at $1.6 million, Mr. Pugh says the townhomes, which started at just under $1 million, appeal to a broader market.
“It’s a real mix of buyers. We’ve got young single professionals, move-down buyers, families with young children,” says Mr. Pugh. “The price per square foot is $500. The downtown luxury condo market is way more than that, $700 to $900 a square foot and more,” he points out.
Yet the townhouses are definitely upscale and emulate the architecture of existing streetcapes with façades with smaller bricks, pre-cast textures and decorative railings. Mr. Pugh says it was important to maintain an exterior design that was in keeping with the community.
“We have built a lot of townhouses, but this is first time to this time of demographic. We have double-car garages that wouldn’t be seen in a less expensive townhouse offering and spacious layouts,” says Mr. Pugh. “We have 10-foot main floor ceilings which is awesome as it makes them feel much more grand and it’s the type of features people would expect from a million-dollar townhouse.”
He says while all Daniels projects take the same building science approach, Burkebrook includex more upgraded features such as gourmet kitchens, granite countertops, fireplaces, larger rooms and more attention to detail. “More time is spent at the finishing stages too. When you are building at a higher caliber, you want to take more time for the tile guy, the kitchen guy.”
Along with the creature comforts built into the townhouses, buyers get the advantage of lowrise living couple with the convenience of the condo lifestyle.
They’ll have access to the private amenities of the Kilgour Club, a full-range fitness, social and recreational facility created by award-winning designer Brian Gluckstein.
It includes a sunlit aquatic centre, an elegant library, cozy home theatre space and a party room.