By JESSICA JONES
The number of people wanting in on Red Deer’s Garden Heights lot draw exceeded the number of lots available on Tuesday.
The first housing lots for the new neighbourhood, north of 67th Street and east of the Red Deer River, were up for grabs.
The lot draw, held at Westerner Park’s Harvest Centre in the Marquis Room, involved 107 lots. It also included six secondary suite lots and six pairs of semi detached (R1A) lots for the community that will have smaller streets, architectural controls, larger green spaces and 1.8 km of new trails within the development boundaries. Lots ranged from $94,000 to $263,000.
Out of the 132 applicants, 73 were homeowners and 59 were contractors. However, out of the 107 lots drawn, 43 went to homeowners and 64 to contractors.
“We had a very good turnout and had more people registered than we had lots, so that is very encouraging,” said City of Red Deer land and economic development manager John Sennema.
“I think from my perspective at least, we are seeing the housing market turn around,” Sennema said. “The resale market is doing very well, I understand, and a lot of people who registered for this indicates to me that people are looking for homes in Red Deer.”
Sennema said Garden Heights is a culmination of years of hard work that originated from the city’s neighbourhood area structure plan.
“You can’t fathom the amount of work that goes into this, between the engineers, all the folks involved,” he said. “All that work, two or three years, to create a community vision and now we are getting to a point to see what this is going to turn out like, it is really exciting.”
Lacasta Chiles of Havan Built Homes, a Central Alberta custom home building company, said they were attracted to the green space and the lot sizes that Garden Heights had to offer.
“A lot of our clients are interested,” she said. “We are ready to dig and hope to have our clients in their homes by Christmas.”
Arlene Sopkow, a Red Deer homeowner, said she received a lot close to the end of the draw.
“It was a little scary, we have been waiting a couple of years for this,” she said. “We love the trail systems, the area is lovely.”
A $5,000 deposit was required at the lot draw. The funds will be forfeited if the applicant chooses a lot but doesn’t proceed with the land sale agreement.
A social care site and R2 green development will be sold later through a request for proposal package that will be made available on the website and at the Land and Economic Development office this fall.
For more information on Garden Heights, go online at www.reddeer.ca/land.