Her­itage Pointe Prop­er­ties: Land, love and loy­alty

Calgary Sun - - HOMES - Thomas

The story of the ham­let of Her­itage Pointe starts in 1989 with the Up­per Lakes Group di­ver­si­fy­ing its busi­ness port­fo­lio by get­ting into land de­vel­op­ment in the Cal­gary area. The com­pany gave the goa­head to Carolina Ox­toby, pres­i­dent and CEO of Her­itage Pointe Prop­er­ties, to ne­go­ti­ate the pur­chase of 1,000 con­tigu­ous acres of land south of the city from six landown­ers.

It was a gam­ble that, 27 years af­ter buy­ing the land, has paid off, with more than 800 homes sur­round­ing a world­class, 27-hole pub­lic golf course, and more to come.

The chap­ter of the story that en­sured the gam­ble would pay off was writ­ten a cou­ple of years af­ter de­vel­op­ment be­gan when Ox­toby ex­pressed some con­cerns to com­pany owner, Jack Leitch.

“I said, ‘Jack, I don’t think I’m do­ing a good job for you. I don’t know that I have the skillset. I don’t know if I have the ex­per­tise and I’m re­ally wor­ried,’ ” says Ox­toby. “He said, ‘you do not have to know how to play ev­ery sin­gle mu­si­cal in­stru­ment to be able to be a great band leader. What you need to know is what in­stru­ments you want, how they should be played and if they are no longer in tune. Then you change that.’

“Then he went on to say ‘If you were an en­gi­neer, you wouldn’t have to hire an en­gi­neer. If you were an ur­ban plan­ner, you wouldn’t have to hire one. So, what you do is, you bring all this ex­per­tise in and you stand there and you’re the or­ches­tra master.’

“And I just thought, wow, and that was my turn­ing point.”

Shortly af­ter, Her­itage Pointe’s sec­ond showhome pa­rade opened, un­der the aus­pices of the Street of Dreams mar­ket­ing com­pany.

“It was an un­be­liev­able suc­cess and re­ally put us on the map in 1996,” says Ox­toby. “It was con­sid­ered the Os­cars of the build­ing in­dus­try. There were five showhomes and peo­ple had to pur­chase a ticket to come. We held a great cock­tail party, the street was lined with beau­ti­ful lights and peo­ple just me­an­dered down the street into each of the showhomes, which were done up to the nines.

“It was a very high-end mar­ket­ing plat­form.”

It put the com­mu­nity on the street to suc­cess. To­day, it is made up of six de­vel­oped neigh­bour­hoods: The Ridge, The Sum­mit, The Mead­ows, The Ravine, The Lake and The Ranche and the de­vel­op­ing neigh­bour­hood, Arte­sia at Her­itage Pointe, a coun­try­themed oa­sis just south of the Bow River.

“Arte­sia is do­ing well,” says Ox­toby. “We felt the soft­en­ing of the econ­omy, as did all the other builders and de­vel­op­ers, but we’re now see­ing glim­mers of hope. I think there are enough pos­i­tive in­di­ca­tors out there that con­sumer con­fi­dence is com­ing back and as a re­sult, we’re see­ing sales start­ing to re­ally pick up again.”

There have been many play­ers in the story.

“Twenty-seven years later, I say ‘Oh, my gosh’, look what we have cre­ated and I say the ‘we’ word be­cause it might have been me that was the lead­er­ship but you can­not do it on your own,” says Ox­toby. “It’s all about part­ner­ships with your builders, trades and sup­pli­ers and most im­por­tant, it’s the team at Her­itage Pointe Prop­er­ties. My team is the best team that a com­pany could ever as­sem­ble. A bal­ance sheet is full of as­sets but there’s never a line item that says ‘peo­ple’ and there should be be­cause that is your big­gest as­set.”

IMagES Sup­pliEd by HEr­itagE pOintE prOp­Er­tiES

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