Excavator’s blade begins new housing development
“It’s kind of the end of an era.”
Photo by Vince Fedoroff
THE CRUMBLING OF AN ERA – Under a sun-splashed sky Thursday afternoon, an excavator demolishes the former store/laundry building on the ex-McKenzie RV Park trailer court property. The building has given way to a new housing development.
“It’s kind of the end of an era.”
Bob Darling spoke those words Thursday afternoon at the former McKenzie RV Park site in Crestview.
He made the comment as an excavator ripped into the former store/laundry building on the property just off the Alaska Highway, tearing down its blue walls.
While it may mean losing a long-time piece of the Crestview landscape, Darling was also quick to note the five-hectare lot has been vacant for a long time.
Darling, his son Scott and Dale Best – who were all at the property Thursday to see the building come down – are ready to develop new dwellings on the site beginning with 10 mobile homes.
And, if all goes according to plan, owners will begin moving in on Sept. 30.
Seven of the 10 mobiles – which are 14 feet by 68 feet and feature two or three bedrooms – have already been sold at a cost of $254,000 each.
Another 24 townhouses are planned for the Brookside development as part of the first phase of the condominium project, with the first eight to be available Oct. 31.
By far the most popular of the two-bedroom townhouse options is the $329,900 end-unit version, which includes a one-bedroom basement apartment with a separate entrance.
As Darling pointed out, many buyers like the option of having someone rent out the basement while they live in the top two levels of the building. Each of the three floors in the townhouses is 714 square feet.
There’s also a $299,900 version with a finished basement bedroom that features the additional bedroom, a rec room and bathroom.
The most inexpensive version of the townhouse is obviously without the finished basement, costing $269,900.
The prices are still where the developers started at when they looked at the project. While there’s been talk of the local housing market softening, Darling said, he likes to think Brookside has had some role to play in bringing lower housing prices to the market.
As a condominium development, lots will be titled to the property owner. The owner will pay for the upkeep to communal areas like roads and so on through condo fees of $45 a month for mobile home owners and $175 for townhouse owners.
Paul Hunter, the veteran local realtor working on the development, said this morning there’s a difference in the price because the condo corporation carries insurance for the townhouse portion, while mobile home owners carry their own insurance.
Also, he said, any outside work to the general townhouse development would be done through the condo corporation while mobile home owners are responsible for their own improvements.
Plans are also in the works to sell six approximately 800-square-metre lots designed for single-detached homes next to Brookside that are expected to sell at $120,000 each.
If everything remains on schedule and goes through the city regulatory process without a problem, those lots would become available in late October.
An access road to those properties will be built off of the Alaska Highway, but will not be part of the condominium project, Darling said. What is ultimately done with them will be left up to the buyers, he said.
As the developers look at getting the paperwork approval through the city for the six individual properties, ground work will continue at the five-hectare site.
The building has been ripped down, piping is on its way up the highway and work will soon begin to get the ground ready for the new development.
While the focus for Brookside remains on phase one for now, the second part of the development is planned to include 11 more mobile homes and 32 townhouses designed in the same way as the first phase. They are also planned to be priced the same.
Darling is no stranger to such developments. The former owner of the local Coca-Cola franchise is now based in New Brunswick, making his living as a developer with his son working with him.
Quispamsis, where the Darlings now live, they paid homage to their former territory in the street names of Yukon Drive, Carmacks Court, Whitehorse Drive, Teslin Drive, Goldrush Drive, Dawson Street and Klondike Drive, among others.
By STEPHANIE WADDELL