River’s Edge development already attracting interest

The recent economic climate has not been favourable for many developers.

Photo by RANDY FIEDLER/Advocate staff

Photo by RANDY FIEDLER/Advocate staff

The recent economic climate has not been favourable for many developers.

But the biggest challenge facing River City Developments Ltd. as it builds an eye-catching residential-commercial complex on the northern edge of Red Deer’s downtown has been of a more traditional nature.

“Weather has been our biggest hurdle, bar none,” said Ken Wessel, a partner in River City. “That’s the only thing that we’ve had any real major delays with.”

He anticipates that Elements @ River’s Edge will be ready for occupancy by the end of October. And it’s looking like there will be plenty of people and businesses ready to move in.

Eight of the 12 residential units in the five-storey building overlooking the Red Deer River near Gaetz Avenue and 55th Street have been sold, said Wessel, and two more deals are pending.

Available in 2,552 and 3,529-square-foot sizes and ranging in price from $439,000 to $690,000, the units will be customized to the tastes of their buyers.

Wessel attributes the strong sales to the building’s quality and its riverside location near the downtown.

“It’s such a unique property, and there’s only 12 units.”

About 80 per cent of the approximately 37,000 square feet of condominiumized commercial space in two adjacent buildings have also been spoken for. Wessel didn’t want to identify the buyers, but described their uses as professional in nature.

A further 38,000 square feet of commercial space is available for lease, including 28,000 on the bottom two floors of the residential building. Wessel said he’d like to see one or two big corporate tenants use those floors as office space.

“I’m trying to work with some clients that would take the entire space.”

A fourth, three-storey building is planned for the south side of the parcel, with construction there expected to begin this year.

“It’s going to be two floors of restaurant and then a lounge will be on the very top floor,” said Wessel, adding that the upper floor will have a nice view of the river.

He plans to turn the space over to a high-end restaurant, and has had discussions with a couple prospects.

“We’re going to be looking at leasing it to a national tenant.”

Wessel said Elements @ River’s Edge, which has an anticipated build-out cost of between $32 million and $34 million, has a “new age design” that’s unique in Red Deer. He pointed to its emphasis on windows as an example.

“We’ve got a tremendous square footage of windows. There are 48,000 square feet of window space on the whole project.”

Additional information about Elements @ River’s Edge can be found online at www.elementsatriversedge.com.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com