Travino Brings Customizable, Eco-Friendly Living to Royal Oak
Travino, a new community in Royal Oak, offers sustainable features such as solar-assisted hot water and the chance for pre-construction buyers to make major customizations to create homes that suit their tastes and lifestyle. Phase two of the four-phase development is a six-story, 58-suite building called Travino Square. It is currently under construction, and the drawings and disclosures for Travino Landing, the third phase, will be brought to market this spring.
“At these early stages there’s been the ability for people to do some significant customizing, more so than someone coming in and choosing a different countertop,” says Ed Geric, president of Mike Geric Construction. “People have been able to change rooms, move walls around and really create a custom condominium.” For instance, owners may choose to put in a freestanding soaker tub or change the size of closets to meet their needs.
Just ask Heather Abbott. When Abbott and her husband were ready to downsize from the 2,100-square foot home they’d owned in Gordon Head for nearly three decades, they inquired about renting at Travino. However, the couple opted to buy a third-floor suite in Travino’s first building to gain more space. They’re now customizing a penthouse, which is under construction at Travino Square, and could be completed by the end of this year.
After looking at the penthouse’s floor plan, the couple asked for some changes, including making the den larger and the bathroom smaller. “We really want to have a signature kind of place,” Abbott says. “Ed and his team have been really willing to look at anything we want.”
Geric says many of those interested in customizing a home at Travino are 50+ buyers who are downsizing from freestanding homes. “They don’t want to be downtown, they want to be in Royal Oak or near where their home was and they want a condo that feels like a home with lots of space and the little extras that make it just right,” he says. “In addition to that we’ve got a number of smaller suites that are made for first-time home buyers, one bedrooms and studios that are under 600 square feet.”
The community has attracted a wide-range of people and Abbott prefers it that way. “I like having the community where there’s schools nearby, a variety of age groups and there are renters and pets,” she says. “That increases the number of people who are going to be interested in this place down the road.”
Abbott also enjoys the community amenities. “One of the things that really appealed to me is garden plots,” she says. “Coming from a house, if you want to have a garden, you’re going to have that available at Travino.” Residents also have access to a bike-share program and a fitness centre.
Large green spaces and gardens create a park-like setting, which includes a restored Garry Oak meadow. In addition, Travino’s sustainable design includes features like green building products and solar-assisted hot water. “In the summertime we found that the water was being heated 100 per cent by solar,” Geric says. “We don’t have baseboard heaters; we use a heat pump providing air flow that’s both heating and cooling. And we’re reusing storm water for some water features and irrigation.”
In total, all four phases of the Travino development will include 250 homes. The project is moving forward at a much faster pace than originally planned. Geric attributes much of this interest to the size of the suites (more than half are over 1,200 square feet) and Travino’s prime location. “We have a very high walk score, we’re close to hospitals, highways and schools,” he says. “It’s a strategic area.”
As of February 2016, 70 per cent of the homes were sold in phase two, and Mike Geric Construction is taking expressions of interest in phase three, Travino Landing, as a way of getting potential homebuyers into the customization process as early as possible.