Villa Sogno rose phoenix like from the rubble of a house that was burned in the 2003 fire.
“When we began building, we hit loads of burned rubbish and were forced to excavate 20-25 feet down and back-fill again,” said Hamid Khajavi of Pars Construction, the company started by his father, Amir, in 1988.
But the results were dazzling and won the Canadian Home Builders Association, Central Okanagan, grand Tommie for Home of the Year, as well as gold awards for excellence in single family detached home $1.5M-$2M, and excellence in kitchen design (new home) $65K-$150K.
The 6,980-square-foot Tuscan-style house has three master suites, four bedrooms, five bathrooms and two powder rooms, gym, cinema room, custom elevator and pool.
Twenty-five tons of stone were imported from Turkey, Brazil, the U.S. and other parts of Canada to help create a little part of Tuscany in the Okanagan.
It was designed by inArtifex Design, a company Hamid started with his sister, Saba Khajavi-Wolfe.
“We were trying to build a home that truly represents the Tuscan feel,” Hamid said. “When you walk through the home, you feel like you’ve gone back in time, or are on a holiday in the Mediterranean in your home.
“There was no option unexplored to make it as authentic as possible.”
Although this is the first time Pars has won gold Tommies, it has won a gold Georgie, as well as silver, and it hoping for a repeat when it enters Villa Sogno in the provincial competition. Pars is also entering the house in the national awards for housing excellence.
Those are big awards for a small company, just Hamid and his father, who started the company in 1988.
They did and decided to get into the industry — his father as a builder and his mother as a real-estate agent.
His mother is now with ReMax.
Hamid got a degree in business administration and decided to join his father in the business, while also getting diplomas in construction and drafting, and civil infrastructure design technology.
“As I grew older, it started to resonate with me more. It was their life work, they put their blood and sweat and tears into it and it would almost be a shame not to come in. I’m very proud of them,” Hamid said.
“We only do three to five houses a year. The only employees are me and my dad, and the rest of our team are all private contractors and trades.”
Regardless of the size, style or budget, Pars puts the same skill and dedication into every job no matter where it is, here in the Lower Mainland or on Bowen Island.
“Building a custom home for somebody is an honour. It's one of the largest investments of a person's life. It's where they'll sleep, where they'll raise their family and where they'll make unforgettable memories.
“As a result, the relationship naturally evolves as the process goes on because it's exciting and fun and once the keys are turned over, sometimes a friendship continues.”
Pars establishes that kind of relationship with its sub-trades, most of whom they have worked with for decades, including the man who ran the crew that framed Villa Sogno.
“My dad has known the gentleman since that first home in Crawford. You’d have to really do something terrible for my dad to decide to change a supplier or trade. He’s a very loyal guy.”
The Khajavi family also feels that same loyalty to Kelowna, the city that became their home when they left Iran in 1985 with a few hundred bucks and a dream.
“We are thankful for the recognition and hope we can continue to provide the Okanagan with quality homes. We love this city; it has been good to us and we look forward to another 30 years.”