EX­PRESS YOUR­SELF

Ex­pres­sions es­tate homes cap­ture buy­ers’ at­ten­tion

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Front Page - MARTY HOPE

There are few true es­tate home ar­eas re­main­ing in Cal­gary, and of those still grow­ing, most are on the west side of the city.

For the most part, they are lo­cated west of Strath­cona Boule­vard and 69th Street S.W.

Pri­ce­points may vary, de­pend­ing on the de­vel­oper, but es­tate ar­eas con­tinue to at­tract a solid con­sumer fol­low­ing.

And while the ma­jor­ity of the prop­er­ties are large, elab­o­rate de­tached homes, higher-end multi-fam­ily liv­ing has found a niche in neigh­bour­hoods like Aspen Es­tates by Quin­ncorp Hold­ings and, most re­cently, in Went­worth Es­tates by Dundee De­vel­op­ments.

In the Dundee com­mu­nity, which also in­cludes the sep­a­rate lower-priced neigh­bour­hood of Went­worth Glen, the multi-fam­ily ele- ment has been filled by a newly-cre­ated divi­sion of Beat­tie Homes called Ex­pres­sions Beat­tie Custom Homes.

And what the com­pany has cre­ated is a sideby-side du­plex prod­uct that has proved to be pop­u­lar with con­sumers.

“We just wanted to be able to of­fer a dif­fer­ent prod­uct to the pub­lic,” says Mike Cowie, vice-pres­i­dent of Cal­gary Land for Dundee. “And they look in­cred­i­bly good.”

The Brown­stones, as they are called, come in two dif­fer­ent sizes. The larger of the two mea­sures j ust over 3,200 square feet and is priced from $997,500 while the smaller one checks in at just shy of 2,400 square feet with a price tag of $598,900.

And i t wa s this smaller one, the Pre­ston model, that caught the eye of Lisa and Rick Daw­son who were looking for a life­style change.

“We looked around at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions and home styles, but fell in love with the Brown­stones con­cept,” says Lisa. “It has ev­ery­thing we were looking for.”

Beat­tie vice-pres­i­dent Diane Beatti e says the de­ci­sion to de­sign the three-level du­plexes was a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion from build­ing villa du­plexes — a sta­ple for the vet­eran build­ing com­pany.

“We felt the Brown­stones was some­thing the mar­ket was looking for in terms of size, s peci f i c a t i ons, a nd price,” she says.

The con­cept was first sketched on com­pany draw­ing boards in 2006 but it wasn’t un­til two years later that the first show home was opened in Went­worth Es­tates, which is west of 85th Street S.W. be­tween Old Banff Coach Road and Bow Trail.

In April of l ast year, Beat­tie Homes won a price cat­e­gory SAM Award from the Cal­gary branch of the Cana­dian Home Builders’ As­so­ci­a­tion for the Brown­stones.

“ We de­vel­oped t hem f or peo­ple who stil l wanted big, beau­ti­ful homes but also wanted the main­te­nance-free as­pect — and the abil­ity to lock and leave,” says Beat­tie.

For the Daw­sons, there was no one par­tic­u­lar rea­son for be­ing at­tracted to the Pre­ston which they will take pos­ses­sion of next Fe­bru­ary.

But be­ing able to close up the home and head for their win­ter es­cape in Ari­zona was def­i­nitely a pos­i­tive.

“That was a big one for us,” says Lisa. “But the stan­dards Beat­tie used in t he home a re in­cred­i­ble and we love what Dundee has done with the area.”

Not o n l y d o e s Went­worth have a large re­tail el­e­ment, it also has plenty of green space, play- grounds, parks, wa­ter fea­tures, boule­vards, and other trendy ameni­ties con­sumers are looking for in up­scale com­mu­ni­ties.

The Daw­sons, who cur­rently live in Spring­bank Hill, shopped the mar­ket­place for about 18 months for some­thing smaller.

Then in Jan­uary, they came across the Brown­stones show home in Went­worth Es­tates.

“Right then we said this is it, and we put our Spring­bank home up for sale,” she says.

While the show home they vis­ited was the larger ver­sion of the Brown­stones, the Daw­sons got a good pic­ture of what it was like and were comfortabl­e looking at blue­prints and en­vi­sion­ing what the Pre­ston would look like.

“We used our imaginatio­n,” says Lisa.

OK, so the home fits their planned life­style, but its looks and de­sign also held a lot of ap­peal for the Daw­sons.

For Lisa, it’s the kitchen-great­room­din­ing room com­bi­na­tion that she likes be­cause of its size, the large win­dows, and the re­treat area off it. For Rick, it’s the me­dia room and bar area. “We have three sons-in-law and he can’t wait to get them down there,” Lisa adds.

And they are both go­ing to en­joy the hearth­side room and ex­te­rior re­treat off the mas­ter bed­room that are con­nected with a two-way fire­place. Beat­tie is pleased with the re­sponse to the du­plexes.

“They’re just fly­ing off the shelf,” she says.

In ad­di­tion to eight un­der constructi­on in Went­worth, Beat­tie also has plans for an­other half dozen in the Wyn­d­ham Place area ad­ja­cent to Went­worth. As well, there will be 13 de­tached bun­ga­low homes — a take­off of the Pre­ston — that will mea­sure about 1,800 square feet and come in at un­der $700,000.

There will al­ways be a mar­ket for es­tate homes, says Beat­tie, al­though it might be a bit of a tougher sell than it was a cou­ple of years ago.

While some in­vest­ment port­fo­lios might have taken a fi­nan­cial hit from the re­ces­sion, there re­mains a cer­tain seg­ment that es­caped rel­a­tively un­scathed.

“Peo­ple are looking for value for their money,” says Cowie.

Dean Bick­nell, Cal­gary Her­ald

Rick and Lisa Daw­son in a show home of The Brown­stones du­plex they pur­chased in Went­worth Es­tates.

Dean Bick­nell, Cal­gary Her­ald

Rick and Lisa Daw­son shopped around for 18 months be­fore find­ing what they wanted in the Pre­ston model of The Brown­stones.

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