Today we’re buzzing with John C. Vandyk, President and CEO of VANDYK Group of Companies. The developer is behind The Craftsman, a mid-rise condo project coming to the Mississauga waterfront at 1575 Lakeshore Road West in Clarkson Village. Check out the interview and you’ll see that the project is grounded in a clear-cut philosophy on what makes for a great condo lifestyle.
BuzzBuzzHome: Why choose Frank Lloyd Wright as the inspiration for The Craftsman?
John Vandyk: I have always been inspired by the timeless design of Frank Lloyd Wright’s signature style. I designed my own home after Wright and had long envisioned creating residential condominiums that reflect his style as well. While many of VANDYK’s projects have been influenced by that Arts and Crafts architectural style of the early 20th century, I wanted The Craftsman to be a complete homage to Frank Lloyd Wright – from top to bottom and inside and out.
BBH: How will that play out in the vision for the project?
JV: In all the details, big and small. The building itself is shaped as a W and from the moment that residents drive up to The Craftsman, they will see a unique waterfall feature along the entryway, which is a tribute to Wright’s renowned “Falling Water” home in Pennsylvania. We have incorporated his compression and expansion technique into the building, giving dimension to many spaces, like the three-storey lobby. A selection of suites offer 9’ ceiling entrances that expand into open concept living space with 12’ ceilings, giving you that “wow factor”.
There are also obvious details on the exterior facades, such as oversized overhangs, offset balconies and a mixture of glazing, brick, stone and wood colours that blend in with the lush nature surrounding the building, depicting Wright’s signature philosophy of organic architecture and building with the grade to not disturb the environment.
BBH: What separates The Craftsman from other Mississauga condos?
JV: I think home buyers can really get a sense of how The Craftsman differs from other condos when they visit the sales centre and tour the model suite. Visitors have the opportunity to see the craftsmanship and designer quality of the features and finishes first hand. Everything they see in the two-bedroom, 1,097 square foot model suite, including 9’ ceilings, solid surface countertops, built in stainless steel appliances and hardwood flooring, is all standard, not upgraded, which is not typical in many new condominiums. Another differentiating factor is the four-storey boutique design of it, with only 293 suites, all of which are larger than your average condominium suite size. Being only four storeys makes it more intimate in scale rather than just another large glass tower. I wanted to give people something different than the current condominium trend.
BBH: How have condo hunters responded thus far to the project?
We always have visitors comment on how beautiful and unique the project is when they come into the sales centre and tour the model suite. We received this reaction when we launched The Craftsman in the fall of 2014 and have continued to experience a tremendous amount of support from the community. We were just over 50 per cent sold prior to the ground breaking event at the beginning of June, which has allowed us to start construction ahead of schedule. A mid-rise boutique condominium like The Craftsman has never been offered anywhere else, let alone in South Mississauga, so I think people are excited to see it happen.
BBH: What types of buyers are most interested in The Craftsman?
JV: A lot of people who have expressed interest in The Craftsman have been from the local community. Clarkson Village is a hidden gem nestled between Port Credit and Oakville and many people, some of whom have lived in the community for over 20 years, have built their roots and families there. Many of our purchasers are individuals who were looking to transition to a carefree condominium lifestyle but still remain in the tight-knit Clarkson community. We’ve also seen interest from first time home buyers and “empty-nesters”. There truly is something for everyone at The Craftsman, especially with the wonderful amenities it offers, such as the Rooftop Terrace and Gardening/Hobby Room. We’ve purposely included amenities that will promote healthy lifestyles and social engagement and make everyday living easy.
BBH: What’s your favourite aspect of the development?
JV: I think one of the most notable aspects of The Craftsman is the many unique floorplans it offers. We take pride in the functional spaces we have created for our homeowners. The suite sizes and deep balconies are much larger than a typical condominium, with units as large as 1,750 square feet. The floorplans have been carefully designed to make everyday living easy and enjoyable, with many suites featuring pantries, walk-in closets and laundry rooms with sinks.
BBH: What makes the site of the project unique?
JV: The success of The Craftsman is without a doubt due to its location. I live in the area and can say that there isn’t anything like The Craftsman in this neighbourhood or anywhere around it; it’s the first of its kind. It’s situated in a mature, established neighbourhood surrounded by nature. It backs onto the forested enclave of Birchwood Park off of Lakeshore Road West and offers residents access to beautiful walking and biking trails. It’s minutes away from Clarkson GO Station for easy commuting and close to healthcare facilities like Credit Valley and Trillium. With local shops and restaurants down the road and Lake Ontario waterfront parks nearby, it really is the perfect place to live.
Thanks for buzzing with us!