Cody Stuart / For CREB®Now

Putting down roots

GROW condo in Bankview conjures memories of home for Christopher Stephanou

There is much to be said for the convenience and upbeat vibe of the inner-city lifestyle. Walkability, connectivity and short commute times are just a few of the pluses. When you add on the sustainable amenities that promote a sense of community and communal living, the attractiveness soars even further. That’s why 30-year-old Christopher Stephanou jumped at the chance to purchase a one-bedroom condominium at GROW, a 20-unit, multi-family project located in the heart of Bankview.

Designed by Modern Office of Design + Architecture (MoDA) and conceived and built by builder group RNDSQR, GROW features a fresh, original design with communal gardens and social gathering spaces on three grassed rooftop terraces that form a sloped switchback against the backdrop of contemporary architecture. The homes are light, bright and modern, and each comes with a personal raised garden bed, a parking stall or a custom bike, and loads of incentives to interact with local businesses. Residents can also share the bounty from the communal garden beds, which are planted, tended and harvested by YYC Growers and Distributors.

CREB®Now: What motivated you to take the plunge into homeownership?

Christopher Stephanou: When I arrived in Canada six years ago from Australia, I came to Lake Louise and Banff. I’d never seen the mountains before or snowboarded. It was amazing and I fell in love with them. I know that I want to stay in Calgary to be close to the mountains, and eventually, I’d like to start my own business – something in the hospitality industry, bringing a little bit of Melbourne to Calgary. And it was time for me to settle down. It is one thing to rent – it is another thing to have my own space.

Courtesy RNDSQR

CREB®Now: What did you like about the GROW project?

Christopher Stephanou: It reminded me of home. Melbourne has this fabulous European architecture incorporated with new world aesthetics, and the culture is like that too. Many people describe it as Montreal and Vancouver put together.

GROW is something completely new for Calgary, but they have been doing these kinds of super cool, sustainable designs with green roofs in Melbourne for a very long time. I’m excited for the rooftop garden – I’m not the best gardener in the world, but I have always grown things and I’m excited to grow herbs and I love cooking with chilies.

I also really like the minimalist design, with the flat ceiling, stainless steel appliances and smart thermostat. It picks up the temperature in the room and adjusts it.

CREB®Now: What attracted you to the inner-city lifestyle and to the community of Bankview?

Christopher Stephanou: Since moving to Calgary three and a half years ago, I’ve rented all over the inner city – Killarney, Marda Loop, South Calgary and Connaught. Bankview is accessible to everything. I don’t drive, and I either ride my bike or walk everywhere, so it is very convenient. If I need to pick up something, I just get a Car2Go. It’s perfect. I also work close by at NHBR Coffee in Altadore – the sister location to Our Daily Brett. And I try to get out to the mountains a few times a month – access out of the city is really easy from Bankview.

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