Swerve offers new urban model

Developers of a new condominium project in downtown Red Deer want to offer residents a more environmentally-, people- and community-friendly way of life.

Terry Warke

Developers of a new condominium project in downtown Red Deer want to offer residents a more environmentally-, people- and community-friendly way of life.

The 36-unit condo with five commercial bays is set to be built at 5201 Gaetz Ave. Known as Swerve Living, the development will be in the heart of the downtown Red Deer, just two blocks north of the RBC bank.

“I think it appeals to a few different types of people,” said Paul Harris, one of the developers of Swerve Living. He expects seniors, students and young couples will all be interested in the development.

“Because it is an environmentally-friendly building, it will appeal to people who are trying to be a bit lighter on the planet. All the condos, as a collective, come with three shared community vehicles so as part of your condo fee you get access to a community car. When people think about their budgets, if they move here, give up their car and their car insurance, car repairs, they easily have $600 more a month in their pocket.”

The building will have extra insulation and energy-efficient windows.

The roof will be designed to eventually add solar power and a windmill once the condominium board takes over control of the building. Harris said the building won’t have natural gas, but instead will be heated by solar and wind power by buying that sort of electricity through Enmax.

The project has been in the planning for three years and sales for the condos began last week. The plans were showcased at Sunworks on Saturday afternoon.

“If you look at really vibrant communities in the downtown of anywhere, they always have people living in them. As soon as we try to segregate living and working, we run into all kinds of social problems. So this building will allow people to live in a place where they work and it makes it safer and healthier and more interesting,” Harris said.

The condominiums range in price from $219,900 to $484,900 and in size from 463 square feet to 1,110 square feet. The five commercial areas in the building will be for food related retail, such as wine and cheese or a coffee shop. A contest is already underway to design a piece of public art for the front of the building.

Construction is set to begin in the next few weeks, once the city issues a construction permit, and the building is expected to be completed in 16 to 18 months.

“The downtown is the heart of the city and finally we’re going to get people excited about coming downtown, staying downtown and living downtown,” Adèle Poratto Mullen said.

For more information, go to www.swerveliving.com, drop by Sunworks at 4924 50th St. or phone 403-343-0067 or 403-341-3352.

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com

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