A major residential project is getting underway in Gasoline Alley.
Red Deer County plans have long envisioned a large residential component for the Gasoline Alley area but development has been slow.
Calgary’s Lamont Land Inc. is about to change that.
Red Deer County’s municipal planning commission approved the creation of 86 lots near Laura Avenue and McKenzie Road. It is the first phase of an anticipated six-phase, 700-lot project.
Lamont senior development manager Scott Lamont said they have already started grading and hope to see houses going up in the early fall.
Lamont, said it will be a typical neighbourhood with single-family homes, duplexes, townhomes and a pair of multi-family sites.
Two builders have already signed on, Red Deer’s Falcon Homes and Edmonton’s Bedrock Homes, which is a newcomer to this market.
Originally, Lamont was looking at 140 first-phase lots but pared that down to better reflect local markets.
“We just felt at the time that was too big of a phase based on what the economy is doing,” he said.
Lamont said the timing is right for the project, especially with the province well into its $80-million Hwy 2 interchange project.
“We think that Gasoline Alley, in particular, has a lot going for it,” he said, pointing out commercial construction has remained strong despite the recession.
While the city’s housing market has not fully bounced back, there is demand for housing in south and southwestern Red Deer, he said.
“This kind of rounds out some of the choice that consumers have,” he said. “People are interested in that area and I think it will spur a lot of activity.”
Dave Dittrick, Red Deer County director of planning and development services, housing has been strong in the county with 140 starts last year and about the same projected for this year.
“This Liberty Landing project, we think, is going to fill an important niche — starter homes, more affordable housing for younger people,” said Dittrick.
The county’s $6 million investment into Gasoline Alley and the province’s highway spending is triggering a lot of interest from developers.
“Given the flyover project, we’re anticipating big things to happen in 2018 and 2019.”