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Akimbo a standout in Burnaby

Jan 12 2019 Akimbo

Standing akimbo – with hands on hips and elbows turned outward – exudes a sense of confidence and boldness, says Payam Imani, founder and CEO of Imani Development, adding that the firm’s new 40-storey residential tower, Akimbo, will epitomize those same qualities.

The development site on the corner of Madison Avenue and Dawson Street in Burnaby’s booming Brentwood neighbourhood benefits from its proximity to several shopping malls and the Gilmore SkyTrain station without being “on top of them,” notes Imani, who says the decision was made three years ago to create an architecturally significant building in the neighbourhood.

“We wanted a recognizable building to set us apart from other developers in the area,” he says, adding that the architectural firm, IBI Group, achieved that objective.

“It will be a beautiful addition to the Burnaby skyline,” Imani says. “The interesting design of the building is sculpted by the uniquely shaped and angled balconies that are vertically connected; when you stand at street level and look up, it [will be] a completely different perspective to the horizontal elevation one sees on the model [at the sales centre]. Creating that design also achieved expansive balconies and those are an important aspect of outdoor living and condo lifestyle.”

The concrete building will have a porte cochere with a drop-off and pickup area next to the front door that opens into an 1,800-square-foot, double-height grand lobby. A boardroom – useful for residents who may want to hold business meetings – is also planned for the ground level.

Residents will be able to enjoy a range of other amenities on the fourth floor. These include a fully equipped gym, a guest suite for residents’ visitors, and indoor and outdoor social areas. The sophisticated design of the lounge is a favourite for interior designer Lisa Hansen, principal with Area3 Design.

“It’s going to be reminiscent of a boutique hotel, inspired by having a cocktail in a nice lounge,” she says.

Outdoor amenities include a dining area and kitchen, kids’ play space, gardening beds and natural grass areas.

Akimbo is designed to attract a range of buyers, says Imani, who believes a variety of buyer demographics results in a healthy building. To achieve that mix, there needs to be an array of floor plans and unit sizes and the building needs to function well, he adds.

“We [Imani Developments] have always attracted a large percentage of end users and investors. The end users are a mix of first-time homebuyers, downsizers, and everyone in between.”

For the interiors of the one-, two- and three-bedroom homes, Hansen was inspired to create a modern, but neutral design.

“I’m always cognizant when designing for a tower, that it’s going to be a few years before it’s built out. I don’t want to include anything trendy that, by the time people move in, looks dated. I aim for a design with longevity,” she says.

Hansen created two colour and material palettes for Akimbo, Light and Dark.

“The Light scheme is more airy, serene and calm – while being minimalist and modern,” she says, describing the Dark option with its grey and black hues as “sexy, moody and masculine.”

However, both schemes provide neutral backdrops that will enable buyers to easily personalize the space without contradicting the design esthetic, she adds.

Both palettes are on display in the sales centre at 2152 Douglas Road in Burnaby. A kitchen showcases the Dark scheme, while a two-bedroom-and-den condo presents the Light option. In both schemes, Hansen used quartz for the kitchen countertops and backsplash.

“The fewer changes in material, the easier it is on the eye,” she explains.

In the Dark scheme, the Caesarstone countertop and backsplash anchor the kitchen vignette, while a light countertop and backsplash in a matte finish show a completely different option in the two-bedroom show suite.

“Using the same countertop and backsplash in each scheme makes it luxurious and elegant and the waterfall gables [on the islands] are a feature that is very refined,” Hansen says.

The European-inspired kitchens feature Italian flat-panel cabinet doors with no visible handles, opting instead for J-pulls for easy opening and closing. The Fisher & Paykel appliances are integrated, giving the appearance of being part of the cabinetry and making the room feel larger, she adds.

The Italian porcelain wall and floor tiles in the ensuite bathrooms give buyers the look and feel of stone, but without the maintenance requirements.

“It’s nice to give the same sense of luxury, but in a material that sets [the units] apart. The tagline for Akimbo is ‘Stand Apart’ – we didn’t want to look like every other development,” says Hansen.

Other special features in the ensuite bathroom include a medicine cabinet with a practical ‘floating’ shelf, a decorative pendant light and a spacious niche in the shower. The main bathroom has a soaker-style tub and an accent wall featuring textured European porcelain tiles. All bathrooms have polished chrome Grohe faucets and showerheads.

Each unit at Akimbo has parking and storage space. Transport-related amenities include a car wash, bicycle repair stations, access to care-share vehicles and a fast charger for electrical cars.

Construction is expected to begin in 2019 with completion scheduled for 2022.

Project address: Dawson Street and Madison Avenue, Burnaby
Developer: Imani Development
Architect: IBI Group
Interior designer: Area3 Design
Project size: 40 storeys; 350 units
Bedrooms: one, two and three bedrooms
Unit size: 460 to ,2050 square feet
Price: From $529,980
Construction: Estimated completion 2022
Sales centre: 2152 Douglas Road, Burnaby
Sales centre hours: Now previewing; Open noon — 5 p.m., Sat — Thurs
Phone: 604-359-7728