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Development on King Street West to become all-electric condo high-rise

The developer is hoping to disrupt the 'archaic industry'
(stock photo)

The 'Tesla of real estate' is coming to 741 King Street West in Kitchener.

An 18-storey condo high-rise will run fully on electricity rather than using natural gas. While electric-focused buildings were popular in the 1970s and 1980s, it was mostly inefficient applications such as baseboard heating. 

"It's not the old electric way of building things," said HIP Developments President Scott Higgins, who lives in Waterloo Region. His goal is not only to build a zero carbon emissions building, but also to disrupt an 'archaic industry.'

"We don't like a lot of change. 'If it works, and it sells, why change it?'"

A blazing hot housing market provides developers with an opportunity to experiment with their product, and in this case for the good of the surrounding community. Higgins said they also plan to have a free space at street-level that will host a local business, rent-free, in order to add value to everyone who lives nearby.

"I think small and medium-sized businesses are the culture of a city," said Higgins, noting that it will likely be an application process to decide what business or amenity the building will host.

The design was inspired by Scandinavian countries, according to Higgins. 

"Let's get to fully electric buildings, let's get to free streets, let's get to valuing our creative culture within communities and giving them the space they need to succeed."

The project is also getting the thumbs up from Sustainable Waterloo Region.

"The Bright Building is the next in a growing network of highly sustainable buildings in Waterloo region, and it is an exciting demonstration of what is possible in the multi-unit residential industry," said Tova Daivdson, Executive Director of Sustainable Waterloo Region. "This project by HIP Developments integrates not only the technology needed to build a green building, but it is designed to embed it deeply in the day-to-day operations of the building and lives of the residents. The future of our region and the world is an equitable, prosperous, resilient, low carbon community, and this is only achievable through leveraging both leading-edge technology and creating a regional identity as a sustainable community. We are excited to have HIP as part of our network and the development of this building and the deep integration of sustainability into all aspects of the building and those that will call it home."

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