Catania Group’s Château Maplewood Condominium
There are castles built on mountains in Europe, so why not build condominiums on mountains in North America that look like castles? For that, we head to Montreal, where the Catania Group, with special help from Sotheby’s international Realty partner Liza Kaufman and international award-winning designer Andres Escobar, are looking to create one of the most bizarre and beautiful condo projects in the world.
Château Maplewood rests on the mountain from which the city of Montreal proudly gets its name, Mount Royal. After the Catania Group decided to turn this historical jewel, set in the lovely hilltops of Montreal, into a condominium, the next step was to find the right designer, with the sensitivity to capture their vision and the expectations of perspective buyers. They called on the imagination and international inspiration of Escobar. The highly respected Colombian designer spends his weeks working in New York and his weekends working in Italy, unless of course, he has a project in Dubai. The jet-setting designer now brings his worldly talents to Montreal.
The luxurious condos will range from $750,000 to approximately $7 million, not including the penthouse, which will have a 12 million-dollar price tag. Escobar says this is a bargain compared to New York, adding, “The penthouse at Château Maplewood would easily go for $20 million-plus in New York. Also, it is a completely unique design: out of the actual 142 units, only five or six are identical. All the rest differ in design and layout.”
The interior of what is soon to be the most prestigious property in Quebec is in the trusty hands of its star designer, while the mission for the exterior is to give the castle-like structure an even more green and enchanted look. “What we want to do,” explains Catania’s president, André Fortin, “is re-integrate the building into the mountain.” The Catania Group plans to remove 70 per cent of the asphalt, pavement and hard ground and replace it with gardens, flowers, water basins and other types of pristine landscaping.
The second goal is to be certified by LEED Canada – a designation awarded by the Canada Green Building Council, (CABGC). As Sarah Miller from CABGC explains, “It’s not people or cars, but buildings that consume the most energy.” By making the necessary adjustments and by adding a green roof, Château Maplewood is going green and looking good at the same time.
The first section will be finished in the spring of 2012, when 49 units will be complete. All the facility’s services will be made available, including the pool, sea salt spa, fitness centre, wine cellar, cigar lounge, and more to be announced. A year later, the second will be available and in 2014, Fortin says, the entire project should be complete.
Fortin describes the future of Château Maplewood as follows: “We want to give the best to our customers and we believe we have the greatest spot on the island of Montreal. We have the capacity to provide the best; we believe in providing the best. We know how to cater to the people that will be interested in that type of project.”
It truly is the best of both worlds. Residents are secluded from the noise pollution of the city but they are only 10 minutes from the lively downtown core. Its competition, the Ritz-Carton Residences, are smack-dab in the middle of the bustling, siren-blazing downtown area.
Escobar was on the Upper East Side of Manhattan when we contacted him for an interview, heading towards a project. The unwanted background for the conversation was sirens and horns, the kind of sounds that the residents of Château Maplewood will never have to worry about. Escobar noted that nowhere in the world do you get the beauty of the park and the mountain, a view of a gorgeous courtyard and the city, within walking distance to a major cosmopolitan city. “The property,” he says, “reminds me of the pedestrian area in Geneva. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s as if they built a condo in the middle of Central Park.”