Photos: 500 Walnut, Kitchener’s newest and most luxurious condo tower

Councilor Mark Squilla put it best when he tried to describe how chic the new 500 Walnut Tower really is: “What amazed me is that when you step on the building’s parking deck, you feel like you are in a hotel lobby. ”

Squilla’s remarks came at the opening of developer Tom Scannapieco’s latest project, a 26-story tower on the corner of 5th and Walnut. The thin, angular tower was designed by Cecil Baker + Partners and has just 35 condos and an impressive list of high quality amenities that make it one of the most exclusive and luxurious residential projects in town.

It also has some of the most expensive pads in Kitchener: In June 2016, the project made real estate history with the sale of its two-level penthouse for $ 17.85 million, the most expensive residential real estate transaction in Kitchener history. The price for the smallest residential houses in the tower, which are already 2,700 square meters, is 3 million US dollars.

“500 Walnut encourages the possibility of more contemporary spaces in Kitchener,” said architect Cecil Baker.

Scannapieco, whose latest project is 1706 Rittenhouse, said: “This project is the high point of my career.”

The property was the last remaining site for development around Independence Mall and was in high demand from both local and outside developers, recalled Cecil Baker. “I’ve identified with this site for many years, and made a lot of plans with developers from New York, Chicago, Kitchener – and they never got it to work,” he said. “And they walked away from it a little poorer, with broken egos. And then came Tom. “

It’s a complicated site – and not just because it’s across from Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s part of the national park. 500 walnuts are in a super thin spot on the corner of 5th and Walnut. It essentially spoons its neighbor, the Penn Mutual Tower at 510 Walnut.

But Baker’s angular design and several setbacks on the 4th and 13th floors were also intentional: it allows the building to be hidden from view when visitors to the Liberty Bell look towards Independence Hall. That was a requirement of the National Park Service.

Mayor Jim Kenney also spoke about the design, saying, “We need to continue this trend of embracing both the new and the modern while celebrating our history. The record breaking effect of 500 walnut is just the beginning of the progress that we hope to make here. ”

The project laid the foundation stone in March 2015 and was only completed in March 2017. It’s 75 percent sold. For the remainder of the year and winter, residents will continue to move into their homes, which are between 2,700 and 8,900 square feet. Only one or two apartments per floor.

Here’s a look at the tower’s luxurious list of amenities:

Robot parking garage

The underground car park has space for up to 86 cars, which is more than two cars per household. But the real kicker about this convenience is that all residents just swipe their key fob and wait for their car to be delivered to them in less than 90 seconds. This amenity is only available here and at Scannapieco’s other 1706 Rittenhouse project.

24/7 concierge and a Tesla car

Even residents who do not have their own car to park in the robot garage are connected: In addition to the 24-hour concierge service, a Tesla city car is available.

The furnishing area on the fourth floor offers both indoor and outdoor fireplaces and places for residents to gather together.

4th floor convenience level

Each resident has access to a 4,000 square meter terrace on the fourth floor. The spacious outdoor area overlooks Independence Park. It has an outdoor fireplace, several built-in benches and outdoor seating, and a gazebo.

On this level there is also a game room, conference room, another impressive fireplace and a fitness center with sauna and massage rooms. But perhaps one of the nicest spaces is the 50-foot indoor pool and hot tub. The whole room is lit from the sky.

The 50 foot indoor pool also has a whirlpool.

What’s next for Scannapieco? He spoke to Society Hill again about another apartment tower, this time in the Ritz 5 movie complex.

But Baker quipped, “He said to me, ‘This time we want to build a real modern building.'”

The fourth floor terrace at 500 Walnut overlooks Independence Park.

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