18 Suites Marketed Worldwide
Kingswood: 6$m for ‘custom home’

Stories by Ashley Ford
Staff Reporter

The rich, American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “are different than you and me.”

The first linking of that comes when the concierge at the Kingswood Shaughnessy, arguably “the premier uptown address” in Vancouver, hands you surgical slippers and asks you to put them on before embarking on a tour.

The Kingswood, the 18-suite “magnificent obsession” of developer Lorne Segal, royally occupies three-quarters of the city block at the southeast corner of Fir Street and 14th Avenue in Vancouver.

The prices are fit for royalty, too, varying from $1.4 million to more than $6 million for the penthouse with commanding views of the city, outdoor kitchen, rooftop hot tub and jet pool.

The residences range from 2,066 to more than 6,000 square feet.

The place oozes money well spent. But it also exudes charm, elegance and space, and is a virtual gallery of painstaking craftsmanship, a quality very rarely seen these days.

Hardly surprising, given that Segal took five years to plan and three years to construct his palace. Along the way, he consulted with 37 architects and employed hundreds of artisans. Still Segal wont’ discuss the total cost of his creation.

What he will say is that the suites, which prefers to call “a collection of custom homes,” are about to be thrown on to the world stage under the baton of downtown property king Bob Rennie. One residence already has sold and two are under offer.

Rennie says the Kingswood - which is being quietly marketed simultaneously in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver - couldn’t be sold prior to completion because it would have been impossible for the buyer to see “the quality that is being delivered here.”

Why no advertising in Europe?

“Europeans read the New York Times,” Rennie responds.

Rennie also believes local buyers will be attracted to the building.

Segal, 45, president of Kingswood Properties Ltd., nurtured his dreams while reading law at Oxford. He believes he’s created one of the finest residential towers in the world and unquestionably the finest in Vancouver.

“I’m satisfying the demand for this class of buyer that doesn’t want to live downtown,” Segal says.

It’s a unique addition to the landscape that likely won’t be seen again. After all, where else would you find an underground garage designed with cherrywood paneling, marble slab floor and a glass-enclosed waiting room with gas fireplace and seats where guests can wait for their chauffeured vehicles?

Artisans set up stone and marble-cutting mills on site as did the metal craftsmen who cut, bent and soldered diamond-shaped titanium zinc shingles for the cupola, canopies and bay windows.

Marble floors were cut with water jets to allow precision inlays, and an Italian artist was brought in to hand-paint a three-dimensional floral pattern on the entry’s barrel-vaulted ceilings.

Huge curved glass panels cover the exterior of the building’s turrets and withstood wind tests of 240 km/h.

His and her bathrooms gleam with 24-karat gold-plated fixtures and the whole development is cloaked in superb gardens.

The wealthy, understandably, place security high on their list when property-shopping.

The Kingswood, a multimillion-dollar residential development built for the wealthy, has it in spades:
  • Perimeter intrusion detection system;
  • Coded front gate;
  • Underground entrances and lobby doors are remotely controlled by a concierge on duty around the clock;
  • Concierge controls a battery of detection and camera video surveillance apparatus;
  • Private lobbies have motion sensors;
  • Zone security systems in all suites and private lobbies;
  • Garage has a personal safety system activated by a fob key, plus closed-circuit TV monitoring.