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Tearing down walls to build a dream is key in Club Residence Condominium Development


     It used to be that a project the size and scope of The Club Residence was handled by one developer who would in turn contract out to trades on an as-needed basis. However, with Thunder Bay’s most ambitious condominium project entering the major construction stage, it’s clear that the management team has embraced modernity not only in the design of the luxury residence, but also in the way project contributors are coming together.


  Indeed, there are many partners involved in the development of the 109 suite condominium. Each partner has been strategically chosen to execute its core competencies, leading to an approach that has transcended the antiquated notion of simply ‘hiring’ subtrades. Instead, the project allows for a controlled, collaborative atmosphere where experts in differing fields are able to contribute to the build.   Initially, the dream of The Club Residence was hatched when Thunder Bay’s premiere Condo developer, Robert Zanette, began brainstorming with the executive membership of Thunder Bay Country Club – now known simply as ‘The Club’ – about a development that could transform their outdated clubhouse while simultaneously building an exclusive Country Club Residence in the heart of Thunder Bay. While the golf course has had some unanticipated setbacks, optimism with the board increases as the framework is reaching ground level and above. There currently remains a fully functioning temporary clubhouse with bar and pro shop, and the course is expected to be in top shape heading into the 2013 golf season. Bob Swan, the The Club president, has noted that the new clubhouse, which will make up much of the ground floor of The Club Residence, provides a state-of-the-art experience for its members and act as a multi-functional restaurant, clubhouse, and conference centre.  

 Robert Zanette, the lead developer of this project certainly appreciates the patience and partnership exhibited by The Club membership. “When we started this development, there was a leap of faith demonstrated by the Club’s Board of Directors. Their clubhouse was over 100 years old and needed to be replaced, and we’re on track to build them something amazing. It will not only be Thunder Bay’s most modern Clubhouse, but will simultaneously add value to the fortunate residents on the upper stories of the Condominium, by providing them with a modern facility for meeting, dining, and relaxing. We’re building something that both members and residents can call home and we couldn’t do it without the cooperation of our partners at The Club.”

  Of course, a project of this scope does follow certain traditional tenets of building development. There remains a hierarchy to the construction management, with Dowland leading the team. Don Wing, who is one of Thunder Bay’s most experienced large-scale project development managers, leads the local operations of Dowland, and is enthusiastic that the Club Residence project will meet the highest possible standards regarding safety, efficiency and building quality. Dowland has accomplished safe and expedient builds of major scope throughout Canada, and our local business operations have quickly grown to become a top player in the construction management field” notes Wing. “That said, with all of the projects that we have achieved, the Club Residence exemplifies the pinnacle of luxury. I’m proud of what our team is undertaking, and expect fortunate buyers will be equally proud to call The Club home.”


  Joining the team is designer, Jim Peterson, who is one of Thunder Bay’s top engineers. Peterson plays an active role in the development of the project, working closely with other project contributors to ensure the highest standards of design are met.   Another key player, Magest Building Systems, of Stratford, Ontario is providing the steel frames for the building, which are already manufactured for Phase 1 and will be shipped within weeks to the build site, where the 6 story condominium will soon take shape. As is the case in other facets of the project, Magest is not just a subtrade or simple supplier, but rather a partner in the process. Gary Martin, president of Magest is excited about the build, and plans to bring his unique process of cold form steel construction to other regional projects with the Dowland team in the future.  

 Finally, adding to the local collaborative approach to this development project are a number of Thunder Bay’s top consumer suppliers. Businesses like Bob’s Woodburners, Design Build Centre, and even the Power Centre are working with their own suppliers to provide cost effective, yet luxurious and modern options to outfit each suite with top-of-the-line customizations, as per the owners’ requests.   Ultimately, this atmosphere of collaboration among the development team will make for a unique and luxurious Condominium and Clubhouse. The Club Residence construction is being phased with the 10,088 square foot Clubhouse and 37 suites comprising the entire west and clubhouse wings are being constructed as Phase One. A very limited amount of suites remain available in the exclusive first phase of the project with construction well underway and steel framing slated to be erected this spring. Completion of Phase One is on track for early 2014. Phase Two will comprise the entire south wing, consisting of 72 suites, and is slated to be ready for occupancy starting in Autumn 2014.

  The Club Residence management team is excited to announce that moving forward, there are now many more suites available to meet consumer demand. With suites starting at just over $330,000, the Club Residence simultaneously becomes Thunder Bay’s most luxurious condominium development as well as one of the best values in the market.  

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