JA N UA RY 2 0 1 3
contents J anuary 2 0 1 3
vo l u m e 5 i ssue 3 5
10 Paradise found
Walton’s Hawks Ridge features Mother Nature at her finest
20 Affordable luxury,
13 Hanging with
the ‘in’ crowd
Just what is an infill? And where are they building them? Show Home profile
16 Thoroughly modern
Birkholz Homes offers custom urban living in Larch Park Design & DÉcor
19 Mini makeover
Some tips on making a high impact at a low cost
thy name is Aviva!
Carrington Communities gives condo buyers more of what they want
25 Energy efficiency
Some weapons to battle winter’s chill
30 Edmonton still a
great place to buy!
6 Editor’s Message 23 Around Town 26 Maps 27 Ad Index
16 J A N U A R Y 2 01 3 E D M O N T O N H O ME & C O ND O L I V IN G • 7
Happy New Year! If you’re reading this, then the Mayans were wrong and the world didn’t end on December 21, 2012.
P U B LI S H E R
Source Media Group
In fact, in this neck of the woods, the world is looking pretty good. Pretty good indeed. The local and provincial economies are still doing quite well, thank you. More people move into town than move out of town each year, still. And the home building industry, with all its offshoots, continues to hum along at a steady pace, both feeding off of and contributing to the ripple effects of a healthy
A ssoc i ate P U B LI S H E R / A ct i n g E d i tor
firstname.lastname@example.org AR T DIRECTOR
Jean Faye Rodriguez
email@example.com G R A PHI C D E S IG N er S
The folks who are featured in this edition of
the magazine must have doubted the Mayans
too, as they’ve shown no signs of slowing down
in their ongoing pursuit of excellence.
p roduct i on ad m i n i strator
Take our cover feature on Walton
Developments’ new community of Hawks
EDITORIAL A S SISTANT
Ridge. Walton hasn’t taken all this trouble
to design such a great new neighbourhood
E d i tor i a l
without planning years into the future. Yes, the future. And Hawks Ridge is a perfect example of how new community development can embrace nature to turn a good master plan into a great one. Speaking of great master plans, a real New Year’s treat from us to you is the profile on Birkholz Homes’ custom design in the community of Larch Park. This is the kind of feature layout our graphic designers live for. A beautiful home with fantastic finishings captured in perfectly staged photos. Makes an editor’s job pretty easy. Meanwhile, still on the trail of custom homes, Pamela Roth delivers the inside story on, well, infills. And, just to set the record straight, an infill doesn’t have to be a tall, skinny home. Any home put up where a previous home once stood is technically an infill. Find out who’s building what, and where, on this inner-city house-hunting adventure.
Cynthia Dusseault, Wesley Gunderson, Rosalyn Lazaruk, Pamela Roth p h oto g ra p h y
Pamela Roth d i rector of S A L E S
Norma Robertson firstname.lastname@example.org A dvert i s i n g S A L E S
Moving in an entirely different direction, regular contributor Cynthia Dusseault toured Carrington’s Aviva condos in the NW community of Albany. What she found iss that the low-maintenance lifestyle and convenient location is actually available at an affordable price point across a wide range of floor plans, sizes and prices. Rosalyn Lazaruk is back for another year of providing us with some choice design tips, while market guru Wes Gunderson is on board with his own brand of sage advice for would-be homeowners. So party on, Edmonton, you’ve earned it! And cheers to another great year in 2013!
Jim Zang Associate Publisher/Acting Editor email@example.com
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| Advertising COVER Feature |
Paradise found Walton’s Hawks Ridge features Mother Nature at her finest
he sweet sounds of songbirds singing, their message of greeting to the new dawn floating through the fresh morning air, comes standard at homes in Hawks Ridge at Big Lake, Edmonton’s newest community from Walton Development and Management L.P. In fact, a lot of benefits come naturally to residents of this peaceful northwest neighbourhood, bound by wilderness with Big Lake and Lois Hole Provincial Park on its doorstep. Just driving to the community on the tree-lined Winterburn Road (215th Street) feels like a picturesque Sunday drive through the countryside. For nature lovers, Hawks Ridge is paradise. “Hawks Ridge offers a great opportunity for families to
With so much nature on your doorstep, it’s hard to believe you’re living in a city…
connect with nature while being close to transportation, amenities and shopping,” says Jill Curtis, marketing co-ordinator at Walton . “If you’re active, if you love to be in nature, and if you are looking for a new home, this is a great place to live.” According to Curtis, planning Hawks Ridge was different than other community due to the extensive protected natural areas; while still following the development strategies that have been proven successful in other Walton communities. Working with community and conservation groups, Walton designed the community with environmental conditions in mind, incorporating sustainable development and best practices to ensure the natural areas remain the same for years to come. As a result, Hawks Ridge is extremely walkable, with a network of pathways that invites residents to leave their cars behind, incorporates sustainable development principles including bio-swales to naturally filter and manage stormwater, and architectural guidelines that ensure a consistent and natural appeal to the exterior of each home.
| Advertising COVER Feature |
The large amount of environmental reserve space is what truly makes Hawks Ridge unique. The 105-acre central area is a key component of the community and features a 23.7 acre environmental reserve with pathways, a boardwalk and viewing deck for observing native plants and animals. With so much nature on your doorstep, it’s hard to believe you’re living in a city with amenities such as West Edmonton Mall only 15 minutes away. “We integrated the area’s natural reserve with the overall community plan to deliver a community that’s natural and sustainable for families,” says Curtis, noting a large park and school site is slated for future phases. Being able to get in touch with nature is definitely a bonus, but Curtis says one of the best features about Hawks Ridge is its attainable price points. Single-family homes start from the $399,000’s and semi-detached homes start from the $320,000’s — a steal of a deal for such prime real estate. At these prices, Curtis says Hawks Ridge is ideal for families looking for a larger homes, as well as first-time homebuyers looking at home ownership in today’s strong market. Hawks Ridge at Big Lake will be home to more than 534 single-family homes, two multi-family sites, and one mixed-use site.
“Upon completion, the community will offer a variety of housing types, an opportunity for everyone to be a part of the community,”,” says Curtis, noting visitors to Hawks Ridge are in awe when they reach the top of the hill and see the entire community sloping down towards Big Lake. “There are really nice views of the natural environment. You can really envision your future here.” Much of the area has yet to be developed, but home builders are currently pre-selling in to the first phase of lots and the first residents of Hawks Ridge are slated to move in next spring. Hawks Ridge is located on 215th Street, just north of Yellowhead Trail and west of the Anthony Henday freeway. There are five show homes in Hawks Ridge — three with front-attached garage by Morrison Homes, ReidBuilt Homes and Montorio Homes; and two semi-detached homes by Sabal Homes. Showhomes are open Monday to Thursday from 2 to 8 p.m., as well as weekends and holidays from 12 to 5 p.m. n For more information visit www.hawksridge.ca
Ribbon Cutting Walton celebrated the Grand Opening of Hawks Ridge at Big Lake, Saturday November 3, 2012. There will be free food supplied by one of Edmonton’s most popular food trucks, prizes, giveaways, family activities and the unveiling of five brand new show homes. From left to right: Dave Gladney, CEO, Morrison Homes; Richard Drader, Senior Manager Sales & Marketing, Sabal Homes; Steve Curtis, Sales & Marketing Manager, Montorio Homes; Jeremy Main, Sales & Marketing Manager, ReidBuilt Homes; and, Craig Dickie, President, Walton Development and Management Alberta.
J A N U A R Y 2 01 3 E D M O N T O N H O ME & C O ND O L I V IN G • 11
12 • E D M O N T O N H O ME & C O ND O L I V IN G J A N U A R Y 2 01 3
Hanging with the ‘in’ crowd
Just what is an infill? And where are they building them?
Story and photos by Pamela Roth
rive down the tree-lined streets in some of Edmonton’s oldest neighbourhoods near downtown, and you’re likely to find the birth of a brand new home, breathing fresh life into an aging community. It’s called an ‘infill’ and the term applies to any new home construction where the old home has been torn down. During the last few decades, Edmonton has seen a steady demand for infill home developments in mature neighbourhoods. A short commute to downtown or the university, being close to a smorgasborg of amenities, and living in a neighbourhood with sprawling trees has coaxed many homeowners to
tear down their old home and build a new one in its place. Michael Thibert of Michael Homes Inc. is among a handful of builders in Edmonton that has been giving mature neighbourhoods a face-lift with dazzling new homes. Anticipating a demand for vacant land in mature neighbourhoods close to the city centre, Thibert has been developing properties by knocking down old worn out homes and building new modern energy efficient homes in their place since the mid 1980s. Twenty years ago, the bulk of Thibert’s developments were in areas surrounding the University of Alberta. Now, he
J A N U A R Y 2 01 3 E D M O N T O N H O ME & C O ND O L I V IN G • 1 3
“People need more energy efficient homes and everybody wants bigger houses too.” says his work has spread north, west and east into neighbourhoods lining the river valley and Mill Creek Ravine, such as Hazeldean, Ritchie and Crestview. In the last year, the company put up about 12 infill homes in the Ritchie neighbourhood alone. “A lot of the third and fourth time homebuyers are the ones who are gravitating to these locations,” says Thibert. “A lot of the homes are very old and they are just not conducive to what our utilities are now. People need more energy efficient homes and everybody wants bigger houses too.” Due to the size of the lots, the single-family homes 1 4 • E D M O N T O N H O ME & C O ND O L I V IN G J A N U A R Y 2 01 3
B Thibert builds are usually more than 2,000 square-feet while duplexes range anywhere from 1,500 to 1,800 square-feet. Since the value of the land is higher than in the suburbs, the homes often come with a hefty price tag. A duplex sells from the low $400,000s to mid $500,000s, while single-family homes start around the mid $600,000s and up. Just a lot facing the Mill Creek ravine can sell for close to $500,000, Thibert notes. According to Scott Mackie, branch manager for current planning with the City of Edmonton, the demand for infill housing has been steady in neighbourhoods throughout the city that have homes built in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s. He says the city has been working to increase more opportunities for such developments. The target is to ensure that 25 per cent of all new residential units are in mature areas. In order to do this, the City has certain zones that allow a landowner to replace a single-family home with a semi-detached or a side-by-side unit, meaning they can knock down one unit and put up two. Each year, the city receives about 20 to 30 requests from landowners to rezone a piece of land to allow the construction of two units. This, says Mackie, increases market opportunities since homeowners often want a single-family home rather than one that’s attached to another. Still, less than 10 per cent of all single-family homes built each year in the city are infill homes. That amounts to about 300 out of the 3,000 to 4,000 new homes built each year. Mackie hopes that number will increase as the city continues to try and create more opportunities for infill developments and breath new life into older communities. “At the end of the day, it’s up to the individual land owners to decide what they want to do with their land,” says Mackie, noting many homeowners often choose to do major renovations by adding on to their existing home. Homeowners that decide to head down the infill road often
“This is their dream home. They want something a little more creative that suits their lifestyle.” have visions of building their dream home. That’s where Trevor Hoover with Habitat Studio & Workshop Ltd. comes into the picture. As a senior designer, Hoover’s goal is to make homeowners’ dreams come true. About 90 per cent of the company’s work involves tearing down a house and building a new one. But many of the 10 to 15 homes the company builds every year are far from ordinary. Everything Hoover designs is from scratch, so it has to fit a lot of the owner’s needs, which often makes the homes “pretty cool.” A home the company recently built and designed has an all-glass floor with a bridge. Another home has a basement
D under the garage with an elevator that lowers cars down into the basement. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. “This is their dream home. They want something a little more creative that suits their lifestyle,” says Hoover, noting a number of the homes come with a price tag of more than a million dollars — a trend that’s becoming more common these days. The bulk of his clients are professionals who typically work in the downtown or university area. They’ve often had a rental property for a number of years and are ready to knock it down and transform the land into their dream home. “They like the quicker commutes and things like that so they are willing to pay a little bit more so they don’t have to drive so far,” says Hoover. “You get a mature neighbourhood, there’s no dust for the next 15 years while they are building your community, the trees are developed, you have back lanes. You have amenities really close. The list just goes on and on.” The latest hot spots for Habitat Studio & Workshop Ltd. infill developments have been in Windsor Park, Belgravia, Crestwood, and Valleyview. Past projects have included Bonnie Doon, Riverdale and Cloverdale — areas that builders say continue to be a hotbed for infill developments. n
A-D Examples of infill homes in the Bonnie Doon neighbourhood in southeast Edmonton. E
Michael Thibert with Michael Homes Inc. shows off one of the infill homes his company built in the Ritchie neighbourhood.
F Trevor Hoover with Habitat Studio and Workshop Ltd. stands outside an award-winning home his company constructed on Saskatchewan Drive.
J A N U A R Y 2 01 3 E D M O N T O N H O ME & C O ND O L I V IN G • 15
show home profile
Thoroughly Birkholz Homes offers custom urban living in Larch Park
By Cynthia Dusseault
“We’ve incorporated lots of glass and windows to give a really open feeling.” 16 • E D M O N T O N H O ME & C O ND O L I V IN G J A N U A R Y 2 01 3
show home profile
n what has been dubbed the “Show Home Parade” in Edmonton’s southeast neighbourhood of Larch Park, the ultra-modern, flat-roofed, custom-built Birkholz show home stands out. It’s a departure from the gabled, Craftsman-style dwellings that dominate the landscape, and in true Capital Modern style, maximizes the use of natural light and gives the sense of uniting indoor and outdoor spaces. The exterior features a solid ash front door, stained cedar accents, and two large stacked windows that offer a glimpse inside, of the impressive glass-panelled open-riser staircase that connects the main and upper floors of this 3,120-square-foot two-storey home. “There’s nothing ornate or heavy in this home, and no dark walls,” says Nadine Halliday, sales consultant with Birkholz Homes. “We’ve incorporated lots of glass and windows to give a really open feeling.” A ten-foot main floor ceiling and widewidth, long-length, quarter sawn white oak flooring work together to make the main floor a grand space that flows from the front door, past the staircase, and into the great room — bright and welcoming with a wall of windows overlooking a cedar deck. The living area features a contemporary wallinset linear gas fireplace, and the dining area boasts a conversation-piece lighting fixture, but the kitchen is the real attentiongrabber, with its two islands. “A lot of clients are intrigued by this dualisland design,” says Halliday, explaining that one island, complete with sink, serves as a prep or working space, while the other island, with its flush eating bar, is for socializing. “People do tend to gather in the kitchen during parties.” The kitchen also features a large induction cooktop, textured tile backsplash, rift-cut custom cabinetry in ash, and a walkin pantry. A custom swinging door, also in
ash, connects the kitchen to the mud room, adjacent to which is the self-contained laundry room, both featuring built-in cabinetry. The main floor powder room has a glass-tiled feature wall, which contrasts beautifully with an understated free-standing basin by Blu Bathworks, and modern Riobel fixtures. Completing the main floor is a bedroom with ensuite, ideal as a guestroom or den, but also, as Halliday points out, offering aging owners the option of making this their bedroom, should they want to reduce their use of stairs.
J A N U A R Y 2 01 3 E D M O N T O N H O ME & C O ND O L I V IN G • 17
show home profile
“As a builder, we embrace the opportunity to build homes like this — that are more modern in style.” On the upper floor, a spacious bonus room, literally flooded with natural light, offers more living space. There’s also a functional main bathroom, two sizeable bedrooms — each with custom builtin cabinetry — and of course the master bedroom. The latter is a haven of its own, with more than enough space to create a cozy lounging or reading area. An oversized cedar deck runs the entire length of the bedroom’s window wall, making the room feel even more spacious. The ensuite features a freestanding soaker tub, a glass-door shower stall with rain shower head, and a double-sink vanity that goes on forever. A walk-in closet completes the master bedroom, offering an array of built-in storage options. A 1,450-square-foot fully finished basement bumps the home’s living space to just over 4,500 square-feet, adding two extra bedrooms — for a grand total of six — and an open living recreation space that owners can let their imaginations run wild with. In one corner, a wet bar area features a custom-built wine rack, a dishwasher, and a two-drawer refrigerator, making the basement a space for some serious entertaining. “As a builder, we embrace the opportunity to build homes like this — that are more modern in style,” says Halliday, adding that this is one of the most modern show homes in the Birkholz portfolio. And there’s no doubt its lightness and airiness will appeal to many. It exudes an elegantly modern simplicity, both inside and out. Birkholz specializes in custom-built homes, so you can have this exact design built on the lot of your choice, or you can take the features you love, add others that you fancy, and have the home you’ve been looking for. n
18 • E D M O N T O N H O ME & C O ND O L I V IN G J A N U A R Y 2 01 3
Fast Facts Builder: Area: Style: Price: Address: Hours: Web:
Birkholz Homes Larch Park, Edmonton Capital Modern custom-built two-storey $1,395,000 (includes lot) 4509 Mead Court Monday to Thursday, 3 to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; closed Friday www.birkholzhomes.com
DESign & DÉcor
Some tips on making a high impact at a low cost By Rosalyn Lazaruk
t had been seven years since I had painted our bedroom and I was starting to get that itch — it needed an update! I didn’t want to spend too much time or money on the project so my choices had to be high impact at a low cost! I started with new bedding and fell in love with a simple yellow and white stripe from West Elm! The new bedding presented the first design dilemma as it really didn’t work with my upholstered headboard. So off I went in hopes of finding a new fabric to tie it all together. I was ready for a change from the graphic print I had before and ended up choosing a cable knit wool throw blanket as the new upholstery. It really added the needed pattern and texture to the space. I ‘shopped’ the rest of my house for pieces that might work to update my new space and ended up stealing the toss cushions from my sofa. The grey stitching was the perfect charcoal accent for behind my bed (Charcoal – Rona Collection) and I chose to use a softer blue grey (Unusual Grey – Sherwin Williams) on the remainder of the walls. I also pulled in a floor mirror from my front entry and an accent chair from my living room to create a dressing corner. A completely new space for the cost of paint, a throw blanket and a duvet cover! Now on to the living room!
Mini Makeover Budget tips
1. Wallpapering a whole room can be costly but doing just one wall can have the same effect and save some pennies.
2. Art is a must in any space but original pieces are not always budget friendly. Try creating your own artwork starting with a large canvas and left over paint. Look up images on-line that you love for inspiration. 3. Painting the wall behind your bed an accent or feature colour gives you a pop of colour without overwhelming the room. 4. New bedding is one of the quickest ways to update a space. Mix and match your pieces to add pattern and texture. Staying with white sheets will allow you to change up your duvet cover for an instant update. 5. Think about trading furniture pieces from other spaces, the side tables in your living room may be the perfect night stands! 6. Change up the light fixture in your bedroom with something that works with your new look. 7. A fresh coat of paint on your walls and trim can change the look of your space entirely for less than $100. 8. If you have mismatched accessories or lamps, try spray painting them a unified colour to give them a more cohesive look. This is a great way to update second hand finds. n
Designer Rosalyn Lazaruk has been working in design and décor for seven years, and established her own business, Wicket Blue Interiors, in 2004. She has a broad repertoire in designing personal spaces within the home, as well as in implementing intriguing space and design concepts within the commercial setting. Rosalyn is devoted to developing and implementing unique design ideas that reflect the vision and individuality of her clients. To see more of Rosalyn’s design ideas visit www.wicketblue.com. J A N U A R Y 2 01 3 E D M O N T O N H O ME & C O ND O L I V IN G • 19
Carrington Communities gives condo buyers more of what they want
Affordable luxury, By Cynthia Dusseault
2 0 â€˘ E D M O N T O N H O ME & C O ND O L I V IN Gâ€‚ J A N U A R Y 2 01 3
thy name is Aviva!
ust inside the city’s northwestern boundary, practically a stone’s throw from the Anthony Henday ring road, a delightfully small convenient little neighbourhood is taking shape. Bounded on the north, east, and west by wetlands and parks, and on the south by burgeoning 167 Avenue, Albany will be home to just under 2,000 residents when completed. Here, Carrington Communities is pre-selling Aviva, affordable luxury condos that offer a relaxed, carefree way of living. Construction has just begun on Aviva One, a fourstorey building with 58 one- and two-bedroom suites in nine different floor plans, ranging in price from $229,000 to the low $300,000s, and ranging in size from 644 square feet to 1,144 square-feet. The projected movein date is the spring of 2014. Aviva Two, a similarly designed but slightly larger building, offering another 80 suites, will follow right behind. Each building will feature a contemporary stucco exterior with modern accents, as well as a bright, ultramodern two-level lobby. Trees will surround the Aviva development, blending in with the treed boulevards and walkways of the neighbourhood of Albany itself, the focal point of which is a man-made pond. “This is one of our higher end developments,” says Eva Fekete, project sales manager with Carrington. She points out several included upgrades in the suites themselves: laminate flooring that looks and feels very much like hardwood, designer lighting, Energy Star stainless steel appliances, oversized balconies with natural gas outlets, Hunter Douglas blinds… and that’s just a sampling. Buyers can certainly inject a little of
Each building will feature a contemporary stucco exterior with modern accents, as well as a bright, ultra-modern two-level lobby. Artwork by Hartwig Architecture Inc.
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...everything is right here in Albany, from access to natural areas to the conveniences of city living... their own pizzazz into their living spaces, Fekete points out. They can take advantage of a complimentary visit to Carrington’s design centre, where they can price out and select additional upgrades. Each suite has a built-in “tech centre” — a convenient pre-wired computer nook with cabinets — that eliminates the need for taking up bedroom space to create an office area. Kitchens all feature pantries — many of them walk-in — as well as full-height ceramic tile backsplash, extended upper cabinets (possible because all suites have nine-foot ceilings), and Ceran (smooth top) ranges. “And the kitchen islands will be lovely, with flush eating bars,” says Fekete. “The days of raised eating bars are over,” she adds, explaining that was a trend that faded as buyers realized flush was much more practical. “Carrington has been in business for almost 40 years, has built over 7,000 condos, and is aware of what buyers want,” says Fekete. “So, we make changes and improvements with each new building.” She points out how all appliances are vented to the outside, to minimize noises and aromas or odors travelling between suites. And the walls between suites are designed to maximize sound reduction, through the incorporation of a space between the wall of one suite
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and the wall of the adjacent one. So, each suite really does have its own walls. A heated underground parking stall with a storage cage is included with each unit, and owners may purchase additional surface-level stalls. Aviva One and Two will each be equipped with a fitness centre and a social room, the latter complete with a billiard table and wet bar, and available to owners for private bookings. For downsizers, empty nesters, and young professionals — Aviva’s key clientele — everything is right here in Albany, from access to natural areas to the conveniences of city living, with Albany Market Square just minutes away. Why should buyers take heed of this new development? “Carrington is an exceptional builder, so you know you’re getting quality. And this is a beautiful subdivision in an excellent location,” says Fekete. n
Fast Facts Developer: Area: Project: Style: Size: Price: Address: Hours:
Carrington Communities Albany, Edmonton Aviva Apartment-style Condo 664 to 1,144 sq. ft $229,900 to the low $300,000s Albany Way and 167 Avenue Monday to Thursday, 3 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and holidays, noon to 5 p.m.; closed Friday www.carrington.ca/condos/ commnities/aviva
AROUND TOWN By Jim Zang
Malmo plains re-zoning It appears as though a compromise of sorts has been reached with regard to the Westcorp/Golflands development. Two main points of contention had been the proposed 3.5 instead of 2.5-storey units immediately adjacent to existing single-family dwellings on the south and east sides. Also, according to the Malmo Golflands Working Group Newsletter, the total number of units proposed exceeded the existing zoning limitations. Westcorp’s Malmo site is a 6.13-acre property located at 51st Ave NW and 116th Street S.W. The vacant land was acquired through a long-term land lease from the University of Alberta in 2005, and is often referred to by local residents as the ‘golflands’ because
of the golf swing practice that takes place on the property on a regular basis. In January, 2006, the City of Edmonton approved a development plan for the Malmo site which, due to unfavourable market conditions over the ensuing years, did not proceed to construction. In 2011, Westcorp opened discussions with the City of Edmonton and the Malmo community about the need to make changes to redevelopment plans to better suit current market conditions. As per the City of Edmonton’s rezoning process requirements, a notice of intent to submit a Preliminary-Application was delivered to the neighbourhood surrounding the development site in early
April and, over the course of 2012, Westcorp has participated in a city-led planning and consultation process to rezone the property. As a result, the new plan features a combination of mixed use stacked row housing as well as apartments, says Cathy Raftis, Director of City Wide Planning Services for the City of Edmonton. The new proposal includes plans for and eight-storey and six-storey apartment tower on the north and West, as opposed to the 16-storey tower of the original plan. A minimum of 508 dwellings will be created. The next step for the proposal was to go before City Council in December for a decision.
Live the high life in Secord Corners Secord Corners will be one of west Edmonton’s finest townhome communities. With two levels of premium living space, including three bedrooms, a generous country kitchen layout, comfortable great room, and a lower level that includes smart storage and a laundry plus a double attached garage that has a 25-foot depth, Secord Corners will offer both luxury and affordability. Footprint Developers has commenced construction in Secord Corners, located in west Edmonton at 215th St & 96 Ave NW, where they are starting to build their phase one of townhomes. Sales are doing very good “with are already 58 per cent sold,” says area sales manager Chris Heward. There are going to be 116 townhomes in total, and 62 of those townhomes are going to built in phase one of this project. These homes are attracting first time homebuyers, says Heward, with prices ranging from $279,900 to $309,900, and sizes ranging from just under 1,492 square-feet to 1,584 square-feet, it’s the perfect fit. Buyers have the choice of two layouts to choose from. Each townhome is equipped with a double attached garage, a lower level laundry, and with a smart storage area. There are three bedrooms, a generous country kitchen layout, and a comfortable great room. This is a new kind of project for Footprint Developments.
In addition to the bigger garages, explains Heward, they are also showcasing their improved floor plans, which are receiving a lot of positive feedback — based on sales. First possession dates have been estimated for spring 2013, with the completion of this project estimated to be around the spring of 2014, says Heward. For more information and show suite hours visit www.secordcorners.com.
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Housing start stats Housing starts in the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) came in at 13,690 units in October, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This is a great indicator that buyers are taking advantage of lower interest rates that, in turn, will benefit the market as a whole, and will help maintain a good balance. “Employment growth and low mortgage rates contributed to higher demand for new homes in Edmonton. Some prospective buyers looked at the new home market to meet their needs as the selection of homes in the resale market has moderated,” says David Lan, CMHC’s Senior Market Analyst for Edmonton. Single-detached starts increased by three per cent in October
to 478 units, this is up from 464 units last year. And after ten months, singledetached starts have reached 4,741 units, which is a significant increase by 12 per cent from a year earlier. Multi-family starts, this also includes semi-detached units, townhomes, condos, and apartments, totaled 709 units in October 2012. This is actually down 10 per cent from last year, where the totaled starts were 786 units. As of the end of October, there have been 5,573 multi-family units that broke ground, in 2011 there had been 3,735 year-to-date.
Introducing the Atwood The Atwood is a newly designed Mountain Retreat style show home built by Sabal Homes in Hawks Ridge community. This home has three bedrooms and twoand-a-half bathrooms, the standards include nine foot ceilings on the main floor, Hunter Douglas window blinds package, fusion cabinetry, Whirlpool E-Star Appliances, and a full height ceramic tile backsplash in kitchen — perfect for splatter messess. And, for those of you who enjoy barbecuing, the rear deck in this home is included. This home ranges in size from 1,364 – 1,464 square-feet,
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and has been priced in the low $300,000s. The community of Hawks Ridge is a perfect fit for this show home, with a back drop displaying the area’s unspoiled natural reserve, this community is committed to delivering a natural and sustainable environment. Even the interior design in this show home is made with a palette that includes autumn colours like brown, burnt orange, evergreen, and deep reds. The use of rugged materials such as natural slate stone, tweed, distressed wood and leather have all been included to create a more casual feel to this home.
The Atwood is designed with consideration for the “versatility and functionality of the home, which is achieved through an intelligent and an innovative floor plan that you may not see with other homes of this style,” says Cody Price, marking co-ordinator at Sabal Homes. Located in northwest Edmonton on 215th Street, just north of the Yellowhead Trail and west of the Anthony Henday, show home hours are Monday-Thursday 2-8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. n
Energy efficiency Some weapons to battle winter’s chill
ith the winter chill setting in, many homeowners are busy preparing their homes for the season. According to a recent Angus Reid survey, 96 per cent of Albertans say that energy efficiency is important to them and, with winter here, there are many simple steps that homeowners can take to ensure they keep warm. Direct Energy’s Director of Home Ideas, Dave Walton has offered some easy maintenance and energy-saving tips to help homeowners avoid cold-home syndrome, be energy efficient and save money. As temperatures begin to fall across the province, Direct Energy wants to ensure that homeowners are prepared with the right information to get their home in top shape for the winter season. “Energy efficiency upgrades and improvements do not have to be daunting tasks. In fact, homeowners can take control of their energy bills and potentially save money by following simple steps and making small changes around the home”, says Walton. “Sealing up air leaks around windows and baseboards, and regularly maintaining your furnace and replacing filters are easy — and low cost — ways to save on monthly heating bills.” While the majority of homeowners say that an energy efficient home is important to them, the survey also showed that a significant percentage of Alberta homeowners are not taking the right steps to achieve that goal. For example, only twenty-seven per cent of Alberta homeowners lower the temperature when the house is empty, and less than half lower the temperature overnight. Simply knocking down the temperature by two degrees when no one is home or when you are sleeping can make a significant impact on annual energy costs. “Programmable thermostats are a great way to control the temperature inside the home and they are not expensive to buy and install,” adds Walton. “Installing a programmable thermostat and setting it based on your living patterns to reduce your energy usage is one of the easiest ways to regulate your heat and ensure energy efficiency.” Additional findings from the Direct Energy survey reveal that forty per cent of Albertans do not have a high efficiency furnace installed in their home, which is one of the most significant ways to maintain energy efficiency around the home. The survey also showed that when it comes to regular home maintenance, only fifty per cent of homeowners have
“Sealing up air leaks around windows and baseboards, and regularly maintaining your furnace and replacing filters are easy — and low cost — ways to save on monthly heating bills.” their air ducts cleaned, and much less than that (six per cent) have energy audits completed on their homes. What’s more interesting is that the survey also found a somewhat surprising pattern among younger homeowners. Overall, results revealed that they are less likely to include energy efficient steps in their home maintenance: Only thirty-five per cent of homeowners between the ages of 18-34 lower their temperature overnight. When it comes to furnace maintenance, just half of younger homeowners change their furnace filters every three to six months as recommended. Only thirty-six per cent have their air ducts cleaned. “It’s important for new or first-time homeowners to be educated about keeping their home energy efficient, as this may be the first time they are responsible for a home’s upkeep,” stresses Walton. “Many new homeowners may not even be aware of the potential savings on their energy bills by following simple home maintenance steps.” n J A N U A R Y 2 01 3 E D M O N T O N H O ME & C O ND O L I V IN G • 25
CITY OF EDMONTON MAP
INNER CITY Legend Shopping Centre
Points of Interest
CONDO PROPERTIES 1. Aurora 2. Serenity 3. Axio Parkland 4. Mosaic Meadows Parkland 5. Windermere Village 6. Macewan Gardens 7. Sandstone at Walkers Lake Station 8. Aspen Meadows 9. Meridian Plaza 10. Holland Gardens 11. Griesbach Wood II 12. Griesbach Wood III 13. Carlton Villas on the Lake 14. Trails of Millcreek 15. The University Brownstones 16. Century Park 17. Hollick Kenyon Pointe 18. Evergreen Community 19. Maple/Oak Ridge Community 20. The Esates of Upper Windermere 21. The Ion 22. Grand Soala 23. Heritage Landing 24. 12th Street Station 25. Mosaic Town Square 26. Mosaic Summerside 27. Axio in Parkland 28. Stone Pointe 29. Aspen Meadows 30. Walker Lake Landing 31. Rutherford Landing 32. Fox One
NEW HOME LISTINGS 1. Walker Lake Estates 2. Lewis Estates 3. Secord 4. Parkland 5 The Hamptons 6 Copperwood 7 South Hamptons 8. The Properties of Donsdale 9. Cameron Heights 10. Terwillegar Towne 11. South Terwillegar 12. Palisades 13. Upper Windermere 14. Windermere Ridge 15. Ambleside in Windermere 16 Rutherford 17. Callaghan 18. Walker Lakes Station 19. Lake Summerside 20. Ellerslie Heights 21. Tamarack 22. Griesbach 23. Fields of Summerside 24. Allard in Heritage Valley 25. Tuscany Hills 26. McConachie Landing 27. McConachie 28. Laurel 29. Ravines of Richford 30. Trumpeter at Big Lake 31. Axio Summerside 32. Touchmark 33. Hawks Ridge at Big Lake 34. Woodhaven – Edgemont
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ADVERTISERS INDEX Carlisle Group
www.elementscondos.ca Cameron Homes
www.cameronhomes.ca Lincolnberg Homes
Century Park www.centurypark.ca Tamani Communities
Southfork www.southforkleduc.ca Walton Development
McConachie www.mcconachie.ca Walton Development
Hawksridge www.hawksridge.ca Walton Development
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EDMONTON AND AREA MAP NEW HOMES 1. Northern Lights Estates 2. Erin Ridge 3. North Ridge 4. Tuscany Hills 5. The Crossing at River’s Edge 6. The Manors of Oakmont 7. Regency Heights Estates 8. Kingswood 9. Greystone Manor 10. Pinnacle Ridge Estates 11. Riverstone Pointe 12. The Banks of Sturgeon Valley
CONDOS 1. Lakeview Estates 2. Sierras of Inglewood 3. Grande- Mission Hill 4. Tenor
NEW HOMES 1. Stony Village 2. Brookview 3. Graybriar 4. The Fairways 5. Willow Park 6. Lake Westerra 7. Stellar Homes
CONDOS 1. Laredo On The Park 2. Station 33 3. Stony Village 4. Graywood Terrace 5. Cedar Brae 6. Urbia Place
NEW HOMES 1. Jesperdale 2. Stoneshire 3. Harvest Ridge 4. Deer Park Estates 5. Hilldowns 6. Spruce Village 7. Spruce Ridge 8. Hawthorne at Heatherglen 9. Springate at Spruce Ridge 10. Legacy Park 11. Lakewood
CONDOS 1. Parkland Village 2. Fairway Eight 3. Harvest Ridge 4. Nova Ridge Villas 5. Spruce Ridge Manor 6. The Pointe 7. Kingstreet on Park
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NEW HOMES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Village Champlain La Rose Grandin Park Close Notre Dame Estates The Lakes
NEW HOMES 1. Valley Pointe Estates 2. Forest Ridge in West Park 3. Westwood Trails 4. West Woodlands 5. Southfort 6. Southpointe 7. Sienna
CONDOS 1. Village Champlain 2. Maple Brooks Villas 3. La Rose
CONDOS 1. Riverview Estates 2. Fort Gardens 3. Walnut Grove
NEW HOMES 1. Strathcona Village 2. Aspen Trail 3. Summerwood 4. Lakeland Ridge 5. Clarkdale Park 6. Foxboro 7. Willow Ridge/The Ridge 8. Sherwood Hill Estates 9. Balmoral Heights 10. Fountain Creek Estates 11. Sherwood Golf & Country Club Estates
CONDOS 1. Pallisades on the Ravine 2. Strathcona Village 3. Crystal Estates 4. Axxess 5. Summerwood Greens 6. Maple Ridge & Oak Ridge
NEW HOMES 1. Deer Valley 2. West Haven 3. Bridgeport 4. Aspen Creek 5. Suntree 6. Windrose 7. Southfork 8. Tribute 9. Meadowiew Park
CONDOS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Brooklands at Bridgeport Ravine Villas Urbia Manor Urbia Green The Springs at Bridgeport
NEW HOMES 1. Coloniale Estates 2. Montalet 3. Citadel Ridge 4. Eaglemont Heights 5. Montrose Estates 6. Westbrook 7. Four Seasons Estates 8. Goudreau Terrace 9. Triomphe Estates 10. Beaumont Lakes 11. Place Chaleureuse 12. Beau Val
CONDOS 1. Coventry Homes 2. The Village at Beaumont 3. Beausjour 4. Montrose View 5. Giselle Valley Manor
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market view by Wesley Gunderson
Edmonton still a great place to buy! Last year our column started with the proclamation that “NOW is a great time to buy a new home in Edmonton!” This remains true this year. Why? Because Edmonton has Canada’s best economy, most affordable homes, lowest unemployment rate and has a quality of life that is rated one of the best in the world.
Most Affordable Homes in Canada
According to RBC Economics latest Housing Trends and Affordability Report Edmonton’s housing affordability is even better than last year. Even though house prices went up modestly in 2012, this was offset by full employment, low interest rates and wage growth outpacing price increases. In fact, Edmonton’s housing affordability led all major markets covered, in all categories covered — detached bungalow, standard two-storey and standard condominium — beating every other major Canadian centre.
Lowest Unemployment in Canada
Statistics Canada’s latest numbers put Edmonton’s unemployment rate at 4.1 per cent. In economic terms, this is full employment. This is the lowest unemployment rate of Canada’s major cities; the national average is 7.2 per cent. In fact, the labour market in Edmonton and Alberta is strained. One indicator that doesn’t get a lot of attention is the job vacancy rate — that is jobs without workers to fill them. Alberta has the highest job vacancy rate in the country at 3.3 per cent. There is hope, as the federal Government introduces the Federal Skilled Trades Program on
January 2, 2013. This is a fast track program that will speed up the immigration process for in-demand skilled workers. Unfortunately, the program will be limited to 3,000 applications in the first year, but it is a step in the right direction.
World Leading Quality of Life
Mladen Adamovic, a former Google software engineer in Ireland, started a new website numbeo.com in 2009, to collect data from people living all over the world. The Quality of Life Index uses purchasing power, safety, health care, consumer price index, the home price to income ratio, commute times and pollution data. The current report places Edmonton at #3 in the world, behind Berlin and Zurich.
Edmonton’s solid economic foundation, with Canada’s lowest unemployment rate and most affordable housing are part of what makes Edmonton a world leader in quality of life. Now is a great time to buy a new home in Edmonton. n
Wesley Gunderson is Vice President of Finance for Growth Marketing an Edmonton based real estate consultancy firm providing integrated marketing services to its valued clients. Mr. Gunderson has been with the firm since 1997 and actively involved in economic and market research, marketing and product strategy as well as advertising and sales promotion. 3 0 • E D M O N T O N H O ME & C O ND O L I V IN G J A N U A R Y 2 01 3