Signs of a real estate recovery are evident from Canal Flats to Radium Hot Springs, where work is beginning again on several stalled projects.
Major projects that were halted near Radium include Copper Horn Chateau, Copper Horn Towne, and Elk Park Ranch, where construction had slowed but never stopped during the recession.
“We (at Elk Park Ranch) were never dormant,” said Scott Sauermann, realtor sales representative for Royal LePage. “We’ve always been working on stuff even through the recession, doing our deep servicing and roads… still investing and moving forward to get to the point we’re at today with a bit stronger of a market.”
Elk Park Ranch developer, Schickedanz West, survived the recession, but in 2009 chose to pause the project while the market was in a slump. The subdivision’s original layout has not changed much, but the units at Elk Park Ranch will now take on different sizes.
“We are toning down density and making things more private, but I can’t say that we’re making any multi-family in the future,” said Mr. Sauermann.
Elk Park Ranch is continuing the development in three sections: phase two of the single family home site, phase two of acreage homestead lots, and phase one of the executive duplexes. Mr. Sauermann expects the properties to be occupied half by recreational owners and half by full-time valley residents.
Closer to the downtown core of Radium are Copper Horn Chateau and Copper Horn Towne — both projects that were started, but not completed. The chateau had become an eyesore, Mayor Dee Conklin said, but she expressed relief that the property had recently undergone a foreclosure.
“There’s been considerable interest in the property,” said Royal Lepage real estate agent Barry
Benson. “We’re hoping to bring on a successful sale soon for that property in hope that the new buyer will commence working on the project in this (calendar) year.”
Before construction stalled, the structure was built to the lock-up stage, which saw the building’s frame, windows, doors, roof and shingles installed above the foundation.
The Copper Horn Chateau was designed to harbour a 30-unit condo building. Mr. Benson said the ideal buyer will be interested in bringing the project to completion without a major change in plans.
Beside the chateau is Copper Horn Towne, which is scattered with both finished and incomplete units. Those condos are independently owned by several different people.
“Completing (Copper Horn Chateau) will certainly help out what’s going in in Copper Horn Towne,” Mr. Benson said.
The Taynton Bay development at the bottom of Kpokl Road in Invermere was also stalled in the past five years, but the project developer, Bryon Knight, said that it’s about to get rolling again. Since coming to a halt, the project was exchanged through a deal between private lenders, the Knight family and the company that’s finishing the development.
The subdivision will include 23 lots — ten facing the lake — which should be ready to go to market by the middle of May, Mr. Knight said.
“Infrastructure is in, roads are ready to be paved, and titles are just finished being done,” he said. Taynton Bay will occupy 250 metres of existing roadway, and build about 170 metres of new road for the project.
Beneath Taynton Bay, even closer to the lake, will come Taynton Bay Estates — a six-lot subdivision along nine acres of waterfront. Service to the lots will be readily available as they are in close proximity to existing development. The units are expected to be on the market by the end of summer, said developer Cliff Charette, adding that the real estate will likely appeal as vacation properties because of their proximity to the lake.
Also in Invermere, a four-acre parcel of land saw a foundation built before the recession in the CastleRock subdivision. Unlike the rest of the development, it’s owned by the Quadrum Mortgage Corporation. The building was designed to be multi-family condo unit to include a swimming pool which would be available for all of the CastleRock community.
Bill Harker, chief executive officer for Quadrum, said that the best case scenario would be for CastleRock’s new developer (Grizzly Ridge Estates Ltd, who took it on in January 2014) to purchase the building once there is room for absorption.
Mr. Sauermann said that the valley’s housing market is picking up momentum, “and people are starting to pull the pin and get onsite.”