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After four decades of home ownership, 70-year-old David Ross never imagined he’d be renting his next home. But it’s proving to be one of the smartest things he’s done.
The retired appliance sales associate, who began his career at the old Woodward’s in Chinook Centre, is leasing a one-bedroom plus den apartment in Shawnessy Station Apartments, a new 169-unit mixed-use building by Trico Communities in southwest Calgary. Initially, he had hoped to downsize by selling his two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in Bonavista Estates and purchasing a one-bedroom unit in the same complex, but it was proving difficult.
When he investigated Shawnessy Station, a project he’d watched being built, he’d hoped the building would have a small unit he could purchase.
“When I saw the sign on the fence that said ‘rent,’ I thought, oh darn,” he says. “Then in a flash, I thought why not look into renting. Why not free up my money? Suddenly, it made so much sense.”
His monthly rent payment is slightly more than what he was paying in condo fees and property taxes but the freedom he feels by leasing makes up for the difference. There’s less cleaning to do, there are no repairs to perform and most of all, he has quick access to his equity so that he and his girlfriend, Adiel Rautenbach, can travel.
“I can live a comfortable life and not worry. And I’ve got this nest egg,” he says.
His 620-square-foot unit on the fourth floor of the six-storey building is modern and stylish. The kitchen has stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, an undermount sink and more cupboard space than Ross had in his two-bedroom condo. Each unit has nine-foot ceilings, vinyl plank flooring, in-suite laundry, walk-in closets and PVC triple-glazed sealed windows. For an additional fee, Ross has a storage locker right on his floor and a heated underground parking spot.
Shawnessy Station, which bears the same name as the adjacent C-Train station, is Trico’s second rental initiative in the Macleod Trail corridor, after Kingsland Junction opened in 2020. Shawnessy Station was built in partnership with commercial developer and owner of the 1.7-acre parcel on Shawville Place S.E., Telsec Properties Corp., which will manage the building’s retail component.
“Because of the residential part of the project, we thought we’d use the expertise of a builder like Trico who’s in the business of building homes,” says Sean Flathers, Telsec leasing and marketing director.
The floor plans start with junior one-bedroom/one-bathroom units at 484 square feet, to one-bedroom plus den, two-bedroom/two-bathroom (some with den), to three-bedroom/two-bathroom units at 936 square feet. Rents range from $1,638 to $2,668 a month and include heat, water, sewer and air conditioning. Tara Bissell, director of leasing and property management, says there are just 40 units left and a select number of floor plans available, all in the $2,000-plus a month price range.
“The remaining units are a mix of two-bed/two-bath, two-bed/two-bath plus den and three-bed/two-bath floor plans,” she says. “The public response has been very positive. Many of the residents that we pre-leased units to have let us know that they loved the open concept layout of the units, the proximity to so many community amenities and the overall exterior and appearance of the property.”
Tenants enjoy a resident’s amenity room, fitness centre and rooftop terrace with a firepit and barbecues and a bike room. For security, Shawnessy Station has interior and exterior surveillance, building access control, and evening guard and nightly mobile patrols. The building is pet friendly and non-smoking.
Moving to Shawnessy Station is the second downsizing move for Ross. The first was 23 years ago when he moved from a home in Canyon Meadows to his Bonavista condo. During this second round of trimming back, he donated most of his furniture because his modern home deserved equally modern furniture and accessories. Rautenbach, with a keen eye for colour and design, is helping him decorate.
“So far, it’s not me, but it will be me.”
DEVELOPMENT: Shawnessy Station Apartments
DEVELOPERS: Trico Communities and Telsec Properties Corp.
HOMES: Junior one-bedroom/one bathroom; one-bedroom/one-bathroom (some with den); two bedroom/two-bathroom (some with den); three-bedroom/two-bathroom.
SIZES: 484 to 936 square feet.
RENT: $1,638 to $2,668 per month (limited floor plans available).
INFORMATION: The leasing office is at 108 Shawville Place S.E. or visit shawnessystation.com