With new communities popping up in the north and south ends of Calgary, neighbourhoods such as Walden offer buyers lots of options. Photo courtesy Genstar Development Company.

Opposites attract

From the north to the south, new communities offer buyers choice, affordability and amenities

As Calgary continues to expand outward, new communities popping up in the south and north end of the city are offering more choices for home buyers who are ready to put down their front door welcome mats.

Between 194 Avenue and 210 Avenue on the east side of Macleod Trail, Walden has already come a long way in providing affordable, quality homes to Calgarians chasing the dream of home ownership in the south. The neighbourhood was a finalist in the Community of the Year category at the recent 2016 SAM Awards housing industry gala.

Genstar Development Company, its joint-venture partner IKO Industries, and the stable of single and multi-family builders are marching toward a projected buildout date of 2021 for the successful and popular southeast Calgary community projected to house about 12,000 people.

“Affordability is a big driver,” said Marcello Chiacchia, vice-president of Calgary Communities for the veteran developer of master-planned communities. “Buyers are looking for affordability and value, and Walden appears to be the perfect fit.”

Although 280 hectares has been allotted for the creation of Walden, approximately 166 is designated for residential construction. Blending in with the housing element are retail space, pathways, playgrounds and tot lots. Along the eastern boundary of the third stage is a massive green space with elongated storm water and wet pond areas, more pathways and sports fields.

Since 2007, the design plan for Walden hasn’t changed all that much, says Chiacchia. Natural amenities, attractive streetscapes, walkable pathways, retail and professional space continue to be a big drawing card for would-be homebuyers.

The community has been designed with the natural slope of the land offering view lots looking west toward a large pond amenity, with walking trails and lookout points for residents to enjoy.

“The preference among homebuyers — both new and repeat — is to have more publicly accessible open space,” said Chiacchia.

Builders in the third and final stage of Walden’s residential development include Cardel Homes, Cardel Lifestyles, Homes by Avi, Avi Urban, Excel Homes, and Cedarglen Homes.

In addition to Walden, Genstar continues to manage the Shawnee Park development for Cardel Homes, and is carrying on with planning for its portion of Rangeview that is expected to break ground in 2020.

On the other end of the city, Genstar’s 130-hectare Savanna in Saddle Ridge and the company’s 33-hectare portion of Carrington have also seen incredible demand.

The success of Genstar’s Carrington is, in part, because the company took advantage of the views and proximity to the Major Activity Centre (MAC) when completed, says Kelly Schmalz, development manager with Genstar.

“The community has been designed with the natural slope of the land offering view lots looking west toward a large pond amenity, with walking trails and lookout points for residents to enjoy,” she said.

The MAC will be an employment centre with a number of services, retail and entertainment venues, and will be located adjacent to a future transit stop. Carrington’s expected buildout will be in four years.

Savanna, the first phase of 255 lots has been sold out in the community that is projected to reach build out in 2022 or 2023.

The second phase with185 lots available is scheduled to be serviced in July and will have a variety of housing styles built by Homes by Avi, Cardel Homes, Excel Homes, and Arcuri Homes. Commercial and retail elements will be available in the future fourth and seventh phases, says Schmalz.

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