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designed the building to give residents the best opportunity to see this view from suites,” he says, adding that there are only a few units that do not offer a total river view. Mark is nothing if not enthusiastic about the Exchange and its opportunities. He suggests that the area is an ideal setting for those who seek to get back to more traditional urban lifestyles where people can live, work and play in an area that is walkable and filled with attributes from restaurants to theatres to training facilities like RRC and the University of Winnipeg. And he points out that Exchange area residents don’t have to live amid just buildings and streetscape. The area is one of parks and green spaces, river vistas, and biking trails. “There is a growing connectivity in evidence everywhere in the Exchange, thanks to a freshening of population and an expanding base of services.” This said, Mark is proposing a new grocery store be built on properties close to his address on Waterfront Drive. Towards this end, he has sent proposals to a number of players for discussion. His idea is one that follows along his views of urban development, where a ground floor grocery store is teamed with a second level medical centre and a third floor coffee shop that would provide great river views and a place for area residents to gather.
He suggests there is a lot of room for sensitive commercial development along Waterfront Drive, and he is well positioned to help this need on its way. Indeed, he is now readying his land parcel for Phase two of H20, a project he has largely underwritten himself. “Both Mark and downtown development organization, Centre Venture, had a list of specific criteria that had to be addressed in the
final design solution,” says architect Chris Daly of MMP Architects, a well-known full service boutique firm with a portfolio that extends from small commercial to massive institutional and public buildings. “For example, the architecture had to address the street front and pedestrian movement in and around the building,” says Daly. This is to say, Mark wanted a building that was an interesting addition to Waterfront Drive, complementing the street. “The building had to be welcoming and interesting to the eye. It had to utilize the urban elements of the area, and residents had to have good views of the surrounding lands and riverscape,” he says. What Mark got was a building where it was indeed pleasing to the eye. H20 sports a two-tone colour scheme that creates a point of difference between it and other nearby structures. More, there are no stacked balconies. This means that the appearance of H20 differs greatly from typical residential properties where balconies are lined up in what can only be termed design monotony. Residents also have more outside privacy on large roomlike spaces thanks to the design. As well, 80 percent of Phase I residents get a full river view, and those who rent in Phase II will see 90 percent of suites offering water views from suites in the two storey building that is just now readying for construction.
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