Despite prices being more than half a million dollars, chances to be one of the first to live in the Blatchford community are going quickly.
Housing units at the site of the city’s former municipal airport went up for sale last year following the unveiling of the first four home builders and the start of construction. A total of 43 units is planned to be built on the west end of the property.
Touted as Edmonton’s green community, Blatchford, which sprawls across 563 acres, is planned to be 100 per cent powered by renewable energy, be carbon-neutral and an extremely reduced carbon footprint.
The starting price for a townhouse unit is more than $500,000.
Vic Mutti, general manager for sales and marketing for Mutti Homes, said their townhouse development has a total of eight units and as of Tuesday, only two are left. He said young professionals with families are showing a lot of interest.
“We’re the first ones to start and we’re planning to open our showhome in March,” he said. “Most of the units were presold. I think they are going pretty well. We don’t have a showhome there but with one it will help a lot.”
The current housing plan is part of stage one for the redevelopment of the site. The next stage is expected to start later this year. Mutti said his company plans to be one of the builders to continue to develop the area.
Other builders appear to be having similar success.
On Carbon Busters’ website, three units have already been sold, leaving only four left. The most expensive unit costs $831,000.
By far the builder with the most units in the community is Encore Master Builder, with 20. Kim Gibbons, vice-president of Encore, said there are only two units left in their first building, which has a total of five units. The price for each unit is $543,000 and $598,000, respectfully.
Gibbons said she hasn’t received any pushback on the price.
“We designed these to have this engineered roof so we could have those views of the downtown and those rooftop patios,” she said. “It definitely brings the price up. The exterior stairwell has the capability of being heated. Those two things combined definitely bring our prices up more so than the others.”
Gibbons said a showhome was under construction but was put on hold when the cold snap came. The showhome is expected to be open in September.
Encore’s second building hasn’t sold any units yet. The company is currently in the design phase for the three remaining buildings. Gibbons said she hopes to keep the price point for these buildings below $500,000.
In order to achieve that green goal, the city is establishing a new energy system called Energy Centre One. This will be the first of five or six similar energy centres in the neighbourhood. The first facility will handle pumping water for heating, cooling and hot water for homes.
Out of the 12 parcels of land, the city has sold six of them so far with the remaining currently being negotiated. The city plans to announce new builders within the coming months once those agreements are finalized. As for the redevelopment, landscaping still needs to be completed for stage one as well as the stormwater pond, which is slated for the spring. The district energy sharing system is up and running.
The total cost of the project is slated to be around $134.6 million.