What may be Ottawa’s coolest condo — with a stunningly awesome front-row seat to game nights for both the Redblacks and Fury FC — is for sale.
The price tag for the playground of all playgrounds (Unit 307, 1035 Bank St.), which also has a terrific view of the Rideau Canal, is $2 million.
The corner condo/corporate hospitality suite, overlooking the TD Place stadium, belongs to Jeff Hunt, a partner with Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group. It’s being listed by Marilyn Wilson Dream Properties.
“I’ve been here five years,” said Hunt. “My circumstances have changed, my needs are a little different. Your life changes, your priorities change. I was approached to put it on the market, I thought, ‘Why not?’ We’ll see what kind of interest comes from it.
“You wake up in the morning, open the curtains and see our soccer team practising, our football team practising. You walk out on the balcony for breakfast and you listen to the coaches calling practice. It’s really a very, very unique experience. I don’t know if it exists anywhere else in the world where you’ve got condominium building right in a sports entertainment stadium.
“I jokingly say this is my version of a cottage. You’re out on this balcony, you look one way and you see a world-class stadium, you look to a little to the right and there’s the Rideau Canal. I just love it here, it would certainly be bittersweet to move on. I’ve had the debate — it would be kind of tough looking up and seeing a different group of people here other than me and my family. We’ll see how things go.”
There are plenty of bells and whistles that go with the condo concept suite, an experience you won’t find anywhere else in Canada. It’s going to appeal to corporate folks or somebody who just wants a front-row seat to a season full of football and soccer games, plus live concerts. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom suite offers 1,141 square feet of living space and a 1,200-square-foot terrace.
Situated on the third level, the same vantage point as corporate boxes, the condo can host up to 60 guests per game. The terrace, with views of sunrises and sunsets, has been luxuriously upgraded and includes a hot tub with a cover that opens electronically so it can be used year-round and also has a privacy screen. An outdoor fireplace wall warms up chilly nights. There’s also a built-in outdoor kitchen with a barbecue, fridge and granite counters. The terrace also has in-floor lighting and an outdoor TV.
“The hot tub is my favourite amenity. It had to be engineered into the construction, we had to upgrade the support,” said Hunt. “I remember the day it was put in, there was a gigantic crane as high as this building — it was a quite a spectacle floating the hot tub into place. It looked like some kind of NASA mission happening. We’ve got an outdoor kitchen, a fireplace in the living room area. On a game night, this feels like the greatest luxury suite maybe that I’ve ever seen.”
Inside, the condo offers open-concept living with a sleek granite kitchen open to the living and breakfast rooms. The master ensuite bathroom has two sinks, granite counters, a glass shower and a luxurious Toto toilet. The second bathroom also has granite counters. There are upgraded California Closet systems. Included in the price are one parking spot and two storage lockers.
The return of the Redblacks to the Canadian Football League for the 2014 season was kickstarted by Hunt, who helped organize a group of local businessmen with a plan to revitalize Lansdowne Park with restaurants, Good Life, a movie theatre, retail shops, the condos and a beautiful stadium providing the city with an enormous upgrade on the eyesore the location had become.
“When I saw the design (of the condos), I had one request of my partners,” said Hunt. “I thought there was a value in having one of the partners actually living on site 365 days a year. I asked for first pick. (OSEG partner) Roger (Greenberg) and the group allowed that. It was the easiest decision of my life. I felt my condo, particularly this balcony, was built for me. This was like a dream come true.”
Along the way, there have been so many wonderful memories.
“When you watch a game from here, you’re in TD Place for all intents and purposes,” he said. “You have that TD Place experience, it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before — you feel a part of it, you really feel like your home is inside the stadium. This has been such a huge part of my life for so many years — first the vision of this project, then seeing it to completion. I tell people you can’t imagine what it’s like until you’re here on game night — you see the thousands of people out there in the stadium. It’s like no other place in the world.
“There’ve been so many big moments — the Miracle on Bank Street, the Greg Ellingson catch — and your bed is right there. People come in and say, ‘You actually live here?’ On game night, it feels like a suite, but a very unique suite, a suite that’s my home. It’s been a lot of fun, but like anything, it’s something I could move on from if the right scenario unfolded.”
Since stepping down as OSEG’s president of sports Jan. 1, Hunt has become involved in a number of start-up projects — “12, the last time I counted.” He calls himself semi-retired.
“If you do something you love, you never work a day in your life,” said Hunt. I’ve been able to do what I love for the past 22 years, between the 67’s and Redblacks, and everything Lansdowne and TD Place. There are exciting things happening in technology, alternative energy sources and medical marijuana — people that could become world players. It’s the most fun thing I could do — get involved with businesses that have really bright people behind them, businesses that are at their beginning. I feel like I have my own Ottawa version of Dragon’s Den — that’s my life right now.”