A construction crew is busy working on a new building for Highridge Homes Ltd. in Burnt Lake Business Park. The new residential construction company will be located just west of Abbey Master Builder

A construction crew is busy working on a new building for Highridge Homes Ltd. in Burnt Lake Business Park. The new residential construction company will be located just west of Abbey Master Builder

Highridge Homes offering $68 million in new homes

A new residential construction company is hitting the Central Alberta market with a $68-million splash.

A new residential construction company is hitting the Central Alberta market with a $68-million splash.

That’s the construction value of the homes that Highridge Homes Ltd. expects to put on the local market over the next 12 months, including existing houses and new builds in Red Deer, Sylvan Lake, Penhold and Blackfalds.

Highridge Homes was founded by Art Anastasi, who is president and CEO of longtime Red Deer construction company Abbey Master Builder. His son Jordie Anastasi is construction manager of Highridge Homes, and Chris Beaumont is its general manager.

One thing that will distinguish the new company from Abbey is that Highridge Homes will focus on “customer-ready houses” that are built and then sold, said Art Anastasi. By contrast, Abbey typically builds to its customers’ specifications.

“They’re two distinct entities, and different markets.”

Highridge Homes’ inventory will get an immediate boost from the 163 homes that Abbey built for rental purposes in recent years.

These properties — which consist mainly of duplexes, townhouses and small houses — will now be sold, said Anastasi, with tenants given the first opportunity to buy.

Failing that, they’ll go on the market as their leases expire.

“As tenants are moving out we’ll refurbish them and put them up for sale.”

About 16 of these rental properties are currently sitting empty, he said.

Highridge Homes will also build 104 new townhouses: 52 in Red Deer’s Southbrook neighbourhood and two in its Garden Heights subdivision, 37 in Sylvan Lake’s Ryders Ridge, and 11 in Penhold’s Hawkridge Estates. A 37-unit condominium is also planned for Blackfalds.

“We’re planning on having between 70 and 100 spec houses at any one time,” said Anastasi.

He expects this to help satisfy a growing demand for starter homes in Central Alberta’s strengthening economy.

“We’re very optimistic, and that’s why we’re quite aggressive in it.”

Highridge Homes’ initial build-out will follow one basic design, with either two bedrooms and 2 ½ baths, or three bedrooms and 1 ½ baths. All will have single-attached garages.

“Right now, the pricing will start at about $248,000,” said Anastasi, adding that this figure will include GST.

That should appeal to first-time buyers, he said.

“The mortgage payment would be less than renting a home of this caliber, by far.”

Buyers can choose their own colours and other features if they commit early enough.

Anastasi said Highridge Homes will likely construct single-family homes after it uses up its current stock of multi-family lots.

Highridge Homes will operate out of its own building, which is currently being constructed just west of Abbey’s premises in Burnt Lake Business Park.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

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