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September 01, 2013

Riverfront serenity

Riverstone of Cranston brings back appeal to riverside living

Pepper Rodriguez

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Riverfront property in Calgary, for a long time, lorded the local real estate market. Homes along the Bow and Elbow Rivers were the top-most of the city’s high-end crowd that commanded multi-million dollar price tags.

Now the historic June 2013 floods have created some doubt about the wisdom of building any kind of home in these areas, and new provincial plans outlining flood areas cast further uncertainty.

But in Riverstone of Cranston, these doubts are quickly put to rest. For one thing, this new Brookfield Residential development in the southeast, on the border of Fish Creek Park — right on the banks of the majestic Bow River — was unaffected by the June flooding.

“Several riverside communities were evacuated, or put on notice, however Riverstone never received such orders,” says Nolan Frese,

Brookfield Residential Project Manager, Land Division. “I was in Riverstone throughout that weekend of the crisis, and the flood precautions we constructed were working as planned.”

Riverstone of Cranston is not on the flood plain, and it was designed to take in all the advantages of a riverside lifestyle, and none of the issues flood water can cause. “We raised Riverstone five metres above the 100-year flood level, and that was key in allowing us to remain virtually untouched by the recent calamity,” Frese tells Condo Living.

“Because of the grading and the height of the community above the river, homes here have no need for sump pumps and we’re not required to have our fuse boxes in the second floor of homes, as they do in other riverside communities,” he adds.

Both Frese and Doug Owens, Brookfield Homes General Manager — Multi-Family, question the accuracy of the recently released provincial flood zone maps, which they say don’t take into account the grading done in these areas. “We feel that the provincial flood zone map can be misleading, as it doesn’t include all of the information on grading, berms and other flood precautions that were done in these areas,” Owens says. “We are hopeful that the Province will be updating these maps as part of their planning process.”

Brookfield Residential has been building the grade in Riverstone of Cranston since 2004.  Over five million cubic meters of dirt have been hauled down to lift the entire community up.  The property lines of the homes that back onto the Bow River/Fish Creek park are approximately one metre above the floodway and the homes’ basements are set approximately two meters above.

What has been created is a community in the heart of the lush Bow River Valley, on the borders of Fish Creek Park — 360-acre environmental reserve that is North America’s largest urban park.

Riverstone is part of the popular community of Cranston, and is made up exclusively of estate single-family homes and townhomes. It is bound on the east by a natural escarpment and on the west by the Bow River, and the land gently slopes towards the south and features a man-made creek running through the lands as well as two stormwater retaining ponds that add to the aesthetic beauty.

“Riverstone’s distinctive location provides estate owners with a natural sense of calm, inspired by the unique beauty of their surroundings,” Owens says.

“Riverstone of Cranston represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, there’s nowhere else in Calgary that you can see what we offer here in quality of life.”

Their new Mosaic Riverstone townhomes have been generating a lot of positive buzz, and the 64-home development may be one of the final opportunities to get into a new multi-family home in this unique community.

“They offer a lot of space, ranging from 1,413 to over 1,600 square-feet, so our buyers — many of whom are looking to right-size rather than downsize — don’t have to give up the luxury they’re accustomed to, and still enjoy the lock-and-leave  lifestyle,” Owens points out.

The models are Slate II, Olive II and Hunter. They are two- and three-bedroom stacked townhomes, Owens says you can think of them as hybrid villas that still offer single-level living. The Slate II and Olive II are the most popular and will have show homes open early 2014. “Pre-construction prices start in the mid $400,000s, and we’ve sold a couple already.”

Luxury finishes as a standard, include granite, tile, hardwood, tiled showers. They are two-car garage homes with an open concept layout. Copper accents adorn the roof giving them a more unique appearance and street appeal. “Imagine coming down into the Riverstone valley with the sun glinting off those copper accents and off the waters of the Bow, it will be an amazing sight,” Owens adds.

Riverstone of Cranston is approximately 225 acres in size and will hold approximately 1,100 homes and 3,500 residents. It will be approximately a nine-year project with an estimated completion of 2021.

Riverstone currently consists of four product series: The Willow Series with townhomes from the mid $400,000s by Brookfield Homes.  The Landing Series is priced from the $600,000s with single-family homes by Cedarglen Homes and Albi Homes, as well as villas by Calbridge Homes. The Preserve Series is from the $800,000s, with Baywest Homes, Landmark Homes, and Albi Homes. And, finally, The Portage Series with homes in the $1.3-million-plus mark, where Albi Homes is the exclusive builder.

It is a distinctly family-oriented neighbourhood with tons of recreational opportunities within its borders. Hike, bike, rollerblade or jog along year-round pathways that unwind among acres of lush park space. Relax near the Bow River with a picnic or a fishing rod — the Bow River is one of the best trout fishing areas in the world and it’s literally at your doorstep, Frese says.

Riverstone of Cranston is located near two medical facilities: the South East Health Campus in Seton and the South Calgary Health Centre in Sundance. There are also an abundance of beautiful golf courses just minutes away and Kananaskis Country and the Rocky Mountains just 60 minutes west. The future Seton urban centre is yet another terrific feature located within close proximity.

Fast Facts
Commmunity: Riverstone of Cranston
Developer: Brookfield Residential
Builders: The Landing Series – Cedarglen Homes, Albi Homes
The Preserve Series – Albi Homes, Baywest Homes, Landmark Homes
The Portage Series – Albi Homes exclusive
The Willow Series – Mosaic Riverstone townhomes
Price: The Landing Series — from $600,000s
The Preserve Series – from $800,000s
The Portage Series – from $1 million up
The Willow Series – from the mid $400,000s
Hours: Monday to Thursday 2 to 8 p.m., weekends and holidays noon to 5 p.m.
Directions: South on Deerfoot Trail and exit on Cranston Avenue and follow the signs.

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