Fall­ing in love with Lake­stone

Al­ber­tans at­tracted to Bri­tish Columbia’s pic­turesque Lake Coun­try prop­er­ties

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Recreation & Investment Properties - BARB LIV­ING­STONE

Last Septem­ber, Cal­gar­i­ans Mike and Cyn­thia Trem­blay were hav­ing a glass of wine over­look­ing Italy’s Tus­can vine­yards.

“I said ‘this is where I want to re­tire,’” says Mike. My wife’s re­ply was: “Yes, it looks a lot like the Okana­gan with­out the lakes.”

Right then, the even­tual re­tire­ment plans shifted from Italy back to Bri­tish Columbia.

And just last month, the Trem­blays be­came own­ers of a lake­view lot in the Lake­stone com­mu­nity.

It is no sur­prise Cal­gary is the “hottest postal code” for buy­ers in the new project in B.C.’s Lake Coun­try, mid­way be­tween Ver­non and Kelowna.

Ja­son Kover­chuk, direc­tor of sales and mar­ket­ing for the 550-acre Lake­stone devel­op­ment, says he ex­pects more than 50 per cent of buy­ers in the new­est phases of the project will come from Al­berta — most from Cal­gary.

“The lake views are a big at­trac­tion and part of the whole Okana­gan ex­pe­ri­ence. When you have a place here you feel like you are on va­ca­tion,” he says.

“There are vine­yards to the north and south and you can watch the sail­boats go­ing down to Kelowna.”

Mac­don­ald Devel­op­ment Corp. launched Lake­stone’s Wa­ter­side neigh­bour­hood less than a year ago to test the mar­ket.

It had a tar­get of $4.5 mil­lion in sales be­fore ser­vic­ing the land, and begin­ning con­struc­tion on its $3.5 mil­lion res­i­dent-only Lake Club amenity. The Club will have a fit­ness cen­tre, entertainm­ent ar­eas, out­door swim­ming pool, lake ac­cess and stor­age for kayaks and pad­dle­boards.

It reached the tar­get in just over 90 days, Kover­chuk says. It sold out Phase 1, has only six lots left in Phase 2 and has al­ready sold 10 of the 34 lots in Phase 3, af­ter launch­ing that phase this June.

In 2006, Lake­stone was pro­posed ini­tially by another Van­cou­ver-based com­pany as a re­sort com­mu­nity with a vine­yard, golf course, ho­tel, ma­rina and half-acre lots.

When the fi­nan­cial cri­sis hit in 2008, more than $50 mil­lion had al­ready been spent on the project.

Mac­don­ald Devel­op­ment Corp., which has projects in B.C. and Al­berta, in­clud­ing award­win­ning Water­mark in Cal­gary — ended up pur­chas­ing the prop­erty by pay­ing the bank debt in 2011.

Un­der the new project de­sign, there is no golf course or vine­yard and the lots are a quar­ter acre in size.

Prices have also been sub­stan­tially ad­justed.

De­vel­oped on a slop­ing hill­side, with wind­ing roads lead­ing down to Okana­gan Lake, ev­ery cur­rent lot has an un­ob­structed lake view. Most range in price from $195,000 to $360,000, com­pared to $750,000 to $2 mil­lion in 2006.

All ser­vices are in­stalled and lots are build ready.

The project’s theme is “Come Home to the Lake,” says Kover­chuk. It’s apt be­cause most po­ten­tial buy­ers are look­ing at pos­si­bly re­tir­ing within five years and mean­while, can still work and com­mute — es­pe­cially since the Kelowna air­port is only 15 min­utes away.

“Most of the buy­ers we have seen are empty-nesters down­siz­ing or are buy­ing what for now will be a recre­ation home, and even­tu­ally a re­tire­ment home.”

The Trem­blays, both in the trans­porta­tion in­dus­try, take pos­ses­sion of their prop­erty next year and then have two years to build.

They plan to have a home built by summer 2018, when they are closer to re­tire­ment, says Mike, 51.

Un­til re­tire­ment, it will be a va­ca­tion home.

“We love the winer­ies, the warmer weather. We want to get away from the cold to where flow­ers are grow­ing in April.”

Kover­chuk says Phase 1 and two lots were snapped up mostly by lo­cal res­i­dents who were watch­ing the econ­omy re­cover, and wanted to down­size as their chil­dren moved out. Phase 3 has seen the in­flux of Cal­gar­i­ans.

De­sign guide­lines for the West Coast Con­tem­po­rary cus­tom built homes will see houses av­er­ag­ing 3,000 to 3,500 square feet in to­tal while bun­ga­lows with walk­outs, will have an ad­di­tional 600 square feet of out­door liv­ing space. Nat­u­ral colours and a mix of stone, wood and glass will be part of de­sign fea­tures, along with lower pitched roofs.

A list of pre­ferred builders is pro­vided to buy­ers. Lake­stone will have two showhomes avail­able on site by next spring.

Kover­chuk ex­pects Phase 3 of Wa­ter­side could be sold out by Thanks­giv­ing (late Au­gust and Septem­ber are prime Okana­gan sell­ing pe­ri­ods) with Phase 4 of the project slated for re­lease in spring 2015.

For the Cal­gary Her­ald

Res­i­dents of the Lake­stone devel­op­ment get to en­joy this view of Okana­gan Lake. Cal­gary is the “hottest postal code” for buy­ers in B.C.’s Lake Coun­try.

Mac­don­ald Devel­op­ment Corp.

De­vel­oped on a slop­ing hill­side, Lake­stone of­fers lake views from all of its lots.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.