Moun­tain magic gets team as­sist

Builders work to­gether to pro­mote projects in Can­more de­vel­op­ment

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - CLAIRE YOUNG

The re­cre­ation prop­erty mar­ket is start­ing to pick up steam in Can­more thanks, in part, to an un­ortho­dox al­liance.

While builders are usu­ally com­peti­tors, an un­usual cir­cum­stance — the lack of a de­vel­oper — is bring­ing out a co- op­er­a­tive spirit among four Can­more builders, says Bill Ko­cian, pres­i­dent of Dis­tinc­tive Homes.

“It has been pretty slow up un­til now — un­til we came up with this idea to get the builders to­gether and cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment up here,” he says in the moun­tain town 100 kilo­me­tres west of Cal­gary.

Dis­tinc­tive Homes is team­ing up with Swan Group Inc., Can­more Re­nais­sance Corp. and Alpine Homes to take up the slack af­ter the 730-hectare Three Sis­ters Moun­tain Vil­lage de­vel­op­ment went into re­ceiver­ship in 2009.

The builders are pulling to­gether to help advertise the Ste­wart Creek por­tion of the project though things such as their three­sister­sliv­ing.ca web­site.

They are also pick­ing up du­ties that would oth­er­wise be un­der­taken by a de­vel­oper — ev­ery­thing from installing stone cairns and land­scap­ing trees along a street to build­ing up a traf­fic cir­cle and main­tain­ing the land­scap­ing.

The four builders are con­fi­dent in the area’s fu­ture, which of­fers a moun­tain play­ground on Banff ’s doorstep that’s also in Cal­gary’s back­yard.

“As an in­vest­ment, it’s still pretty darn good,” says Mike Butt, gen­eral man­ager of Swan Group. “If it’s your time to buy in the moun­tains, it’s still a good time. Sin­gle-fam­ily (re­sale) homes are hold­ing well.

“For mul­ti­fam­ily prices, in gen­eral, there has been a slight cor­rec­tion with some in­ven­tory.

“We haven’t had a slash-and­burn sce­nario. You might save 10 per cent from the high. But good prod­uct is good prod­uct.”

The builders cur­rently have four projects un­der­way — Re­nais­sance at Three Sis­ters Moun­tain Vil­lage by Can­more Re­nais­sance Corp., Seren­ity Ridge at Ste­wart Creek by the Swan Group Inc., Tim­ber­line Lodges by Alpine Home, and Venezie by Dis­tinc­tive Homes.

There is a fifth project un­der­way in the area, but show suites have not yet been built.

Three Sis­ters Moun­tain Vil­lage stretches from Can­more to Dead Man’s Flats on the south side of the Trans-canada High­way.

Un­til a new de­vel­oper is in place, there will be no more sin­gle-fam­ily hous­ing de­vel­op­ment — but this is a good time to look at re­cre­ation prop­er­ties, says Butt.

“There will be no new prod­uct in the mar­ket for an­other three to four years un­til we get a new de­vel­oper in here,” says Butt.

Eight show homes are now open in the area, of­fer­ing dif­fer­ent takes on moun­tain liv­ing:

C MVisit our web­site un­der the head­ing, ‘Rec Prop­er­ties,’ for more pho­tos and sto­ries.

The Venezie at Ste­wart Creek by Dis­tinc­tive Homes takes its ar­chi­tec­tural in­flu­ence from fire tower look­outs, with large slanted win­dows of­fer­ing unim­peded views.

Its 32 town­home units, start­ing in the $690,000s, are Built­green Canada-cer­ti­fied to the top plat­inum stan­dard.

“That re­duces the costs to the home­owner when it comes to util­i­ties, as well as pro­vid­ing bet­ter air in the house,” says Ko­cian.

The green as­pects added to the build­ing “had to have a cost­sav­ing is­sue, a com­fort is­sue or a health is­sue,” he says.

On-de­mand hot water, heatre­cov­ery force-air ven­ti­la­tion and field-tested R-23 blown in­su­la­tion are some of the be­hind-the-scenes as­sets of the house.

The project’s first unit sold im­me­di­ately af­ter re­cently go­ing on the mar­ket, says Ko­cian.

Re­nais­sance — which is theallest project in the area at four floors — has plans for 52 units priced from just un­der $1 mil­lion each. “We’re of­fer­ing chic, mod­ern, metro moun­tain liv­ing,” says Michael Ze­len­ski, pres­i­dent of Can­more Re­nais­sance Corp. “Our de­sign was to find some­thing that sat­is­fied the in­ner-city-liv­ing style and put it in the beau­ti­ful set­ting of the moun­tains.”

The Re­nais­sance of­fers a clean, Euro­pean style with top-end ap­pli­ances, smart fea­tures and lux­ury fin­ishes.

It in­cludes de­tails such as a heated pri­vate pa­tio built to sup­port a hot tub off the mas­ter be­d­room.

Seren­ity Ridge’s Cas­cade lowrise, apart­ment-style con­dos will suit peo­ple look­ing for an easy get­away — and those who de­sire di­rect ac­cess to the Ste­wart Creek Golf Course.

Priced from $399,900, the re­main­ing 18 chalet-style units for sale are all move-in ready. Next year, sales will be­gin on the Chateau’s high-end town­homes.

“You have views of the Lit­tle Sis­ter (moun­tain), water pond and the 10th fair­way of the golf course — and it backs onto the wildlife cor­ri­dor,” says show suite host­ess Jen Cuell.

The condo of­fers an out­door, cov­ered hot tub with change rooms and a gazebo. For se­ri­ous shop­pers, Seren­ity Ridge sug­gests its try-be­fore-you-buy guest suite.

Tim­ber­line Lodges of­fers a peace­ful, down-to-earth and quiet moun­tain re­treat with at­ten­tion to

CLIMB­ING THE HEIGHTS

The am­bi­tious, multi-mil­lion­dol­lar Three Sis­ters Moun­tain Vil­lage de­vel­op­ment is one of the largest in the Cana­dian Rock­ies.

Area de­vel­op­ers Mor­gan Stan­ley Real Es­tate and Colorado-based East West Part­ners ac­quired the 730-hectare project in 2007.

Buy­ers from as far away as Great Bri­tain have bought homes in the de­vel­op­ment, at­tracted by the moun­tain life­style and the prox­im­ity to world-class ski­ing in places such as Sun­shine Vil­lage near Banff.

But the project went into re­ceiver­ship in 2009, leav­ing a ques­tion mark about what will hap­pen to its un­de­vel­oped land.

Three Sis­ters Moun­tain Vil­lage stretches from Can­more to Dead Man’s Flats on the south side of the Trans-canada High­way.

“The un­de­vel­oped land is sit­ting in limbo," says Mike Butt of Swan Group, adding ex­ist­ing projects within Three Sis­ters Moun­tain Vil­lage have re­mained un­af­fected. “The bank is look­ing for a new buyer.” de­sign de­tails.

Moun­tain­side town­homes and stacked town­homes are priced from the mid-$360,000s to more than $1 mil­lion.

“It’s a vil­lage within a vil­lage,” says Ann Ri­cord, se­nior sales as­so­ci­ate with Alpine Homes.

Path­ways wend be­tween build­ings, af­ford­ing a pleas­ant stroll to the lux­u­ri­ous club­house — or avoid a cold day by us­ing the un- der­ground tun­nels.

The club­house has a spa­cious lounge area with a large stone fire­place, li­brary nook, pool ta­ble and games loft, fit­ness room, theatre, in­door-out­door hot tub and pool with splash deck.

Michael Ze­len­ski, pres­i­dent of Can­more Re­nais­sance Corp., and Shan­non Mor­ton, sales di­rec­tor, with a model of Re­nais­sance.

From left, Bob Ko­cian, pres­i­dent of Dis­tinc­tive Homes, and Mike Butt, gen­eral man­ager of Swan Group, within Can­more.

Pho­tos, Claire Young, Cal­gary Her­ald

Above, the Tim­ber­line Lodges project by Alpine Homes has been cer­ti­fied at the plat­inum level by Built­green Canada. Right, the Venezie at Ste­wart Creek by Dis­tinc­tive Homes takes its ar­chi­tec­tural in­flu­ence from fire tower look­outs.

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