Rohit Communities takes opportunity to build in areas where amenities already exist. Photo courtesy of Rohit Communities

Exploring the Savanna

Edmonton’s Rohit Communities see opportunity for growth in Calgary’s northeast

 An Edmonton-based housing and land development company making its initial foray into Calgary sees opportunity for growth as the city’s struggling economy continues to strengthen.

This summer, Rohit Communities will begin construction of 110 townhouses, named Essential Savanna, on 3.6 acres in the master-planned northeast community of Savanna by Genstar Development Company.

Possessions are expected to begin early next year, said David Allen, regional manager for the Calgary division of Rohit Communities.

Essential Savanna will be a combination of stacked townhouses and traditional street-level row homes. There will be four models available from $189,000 to $327,000, says area sales manager Chris MacKinnon.

The 616-square-foot Cali comes with either one or two bedrooms and a single-attached garage. The Ferrera, Bergen, and Jasper models range from 1,415 to 1,487 square feet and come in both two or three-bedroom options. All three include an attached garage with the Jasper featuring a two-car garage.

Standard specs include quartz or granite countertops, laminate flooring, stainless steel appliances, tile backsplash, and energy-saving low-E windows.

“The unique nature of Essential Savanna also allows flexibility in how they can live in them,” said McKinnon. “Within Savanna there is a high demand for homes that appeal to multi-generational families. The affordability of these homes allow for multiple units to be purchased and used as mother-in-law suites, college dorms, or as income properties.

Projected to take two to three years to complete, Essential Savanna began selling at the end of January from its sales centre at 56 Savanna Passage N.E. Show homes will be available later this year.

Founded 31 years ago, Allen said Rohit has always considered itself a “real estate opportunity company” and sees this downturn as a vehicle for expansion into the Calgary marketplace with what it considers a unique housing product.

This is when we often see the biggest growth in our business.

“This is when we often see the biggest growth in our business,” he said.

Rohit and Genstar have a long history of working together, easing the decision to enter the Calgary market. Currently, Rohit homes are going up in Genstar’s Sherwood Park development of Aspen Trails, says Genstar’s Alberta vice-president Paul Boskovitch.

“Rohit approached us about expanding our business relationship to Calgary and we were very excited to bring their innovative multi-family product to our newest master-planned development of Savanna,” he said.

Allen, a veteran of the Calgary housing and development industries, is responsible for growing Rohit’s Calgary division and looking for new opportunities in the market.

Savanna’s location in one of the city’s strongest housing quadrants was also seen as a positive because of the level of amenities already in place, such as schools and parks, shopping, restaurants, the Genesis Centre, and an LRT station.

“Typically when building in a new community the homeowners are waiting years for amenities like these to appear. Having them in place now makes the neighbourhood ideal for our target market, which includes first-time buyers, young families, and investors,” said Allen.

Calgary joins Edmonton, Fort McMurray and Regina as communities in which Rohit is active. It is also involved in land development in Drayton Valley, owns Copper Point Resort in Invermere, B.C., has a commercial division, and a real estate lending arm.

Although not well known in Calgary or Southern Alberta, Rohit Group of Companies has a solid reputation backed by numerous industry and business accolades, including four Edmonton Builder of the Year awards.

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