$114 million, 16-storey project creating community focal point in historic waterfront community
Ontario Construction Report special feature
Fuller Construction is breaking height barriers with its new $114 million Tall Ships Landing condominium project in Brockville, proving that attention to detail and sensitive architecture can not only support heritage districts, but help make them a community focal point.
The initiative, set on 3.5 acres within Tunnel Bay Harbour, will create 150 Cottage-inium Suites (the name Fuller has coined to represent the comforts of condo living with a vibrant recreational lifestyle) over three phases. Phase one – The Lookout – involves 85 suites and is set for occupancy mid-summer 2013.
“The Tall Ships project brings together the romance of railway hotels and island castle homes into beautiful, detailed-oriented suites with river views set within an architecturally stunning building people will be proud to call home,” says Fuller Construction president Simon Fuller.
That vision was not an easy sell. Fuller says in the beginning, many Brockville residents opposed the condominium project, proposed to stand eight storeys above the district’s eight-storey height limit. “Initially the town was quite divided and even though city council was unanimous in their support, it took people seeing the project evolving and the architecture to reveal itself for people to understand the vision and now the comments are nothing but favourable.”
Fuller says, with his family’s history embedded in some of the most historic architecture in the nation’s capital, it was important to take a sincere and honest approach to this project and have it not only fit, but enhance the skyline. “We created a historic curb appeal using old-style brick and large, traditional punch out windows. There was a focus on creating a streetscape with amenities at the base so it feels more like a three-storey podium with the tower in the middle,” he says.
Going ‘tall and skinny’ rather than setting two eight-storey complexes side by side, Fuller created a less obstructed water view so neighbours would only have to look past the one building to connect with their waterscape.
Fuller says he set a high standard for the condo units, which will contribute four to five per cent of Brockville’s tax base once fully occupied. “We created larger than average spaces, paid attention to every detail and amenity and in the end will create a home environment that will bring people back to Brockville, or attract people finding it for the first time.”
The details include a pool beautifully constructed of steel and wood, a restaurant replicating the original rowing house in Brockville, oversized balconies with room for a hammock, a spa crafted with red granite from the Canadian Shield, nine-foot ceilings, water views in all but one suite, leading-edge building envelope technologies, high efficiency windows and in-suite heat recovery ventilators.
“The city was aggressive with tax incentives supporting the project and it was our commitment to put that money back into the architecture and amenities to make the building something everyone could be really proud of,” says Fuller.
The Fuller family has a history and passion connected to all things maritime. “One hundred years ago the Thousand Islands was the preeminent place for people to vacation,” Fuller says. “As travel improved, they explored further and headed into places like Niagara and the Adirondaks, but Brockville and the islands still have the same charm and adventure and possibility they always did.
“This area offers all the benefits of water and nature-based recreation set alongside an urban setting filled with culture and history and the arts and so well supported by medical care and transportation services. The chance to build something like this in an environment that is so rich in so many ways doesn’t come along every day.”