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May 01, 2009

At Home in Airdrie

Developers, home builders reflect city’s can-do attitude

Darlene Casten

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Airdrie is expanding in every direction. Calgary’s neighbour to the north is building and growing, with three of its four corners springing up with new residential and commercial development.

Marrying new neighbourhoods with shopping, parks and other amenities like school sites and walking trails is a must as the city moves outwards, says Jeff Greene, Manager of Parks and Planning for the City of Airdrie.

The City is also looking for unique designs from developers and builders that combine low-impact building standards and an urban standard of density. Greene explains that last year City Council raised the minimum density from five-and-a-half units per acre to seven units and removed the cap for maximum densities. He says the move supports both local and regional transit and complies with development plans being looked at for all areas in and around Calgary.

Greene says a number of developers and builders are running with the City’s goals and creating neighbourhoods with unique features, like in Windsong where Mattamy Homes is turning typical construction 90 degrees.

“Instead of long skinny lots they are doing wide short lots,” Greene says. “They have a porch-oriented type frontage and they are doing something different with the streetscape by creating boulevards that separate the street and the sidewalk. It gives more of a community feel.”

Windsong is only one of several new neighbourhoods in the city’s northeast corner, a spot anchored by a outlet style mall with the City’s Wal-Mart super centre and dozens of other shops, restaurants and retailers. Next to Windsong is Prairie Springs, a development that includes Airdrie’s Francophone School and a multi-diamond baseball facility. Four show homes in the area can be viewed in this family-friendly neighbourhood.

Coopers Crossing continues to be developed across 8th Street, with new phases alongside more mature neighbourhoods.

Cooperstown is similar to Windsong’s layout, with porched homes that back onto greenspace walkways that connect neighbours and streets making for ease of pedestrian traffic in the area. The mid to high-end homes being built in Coopers Crossing both have curb appeal and a neighbourly feel through the use of garages that are flush to the home and front porches. A multi-family building called Coopers Garden backs onto a park and is selling its final phase as well.

Morningside in Cooperstown provides a place for families, young couples and singles to buy their first home. Six show homes open in Morningside feature models from the high $200,000s to the mid $300,000s.

In the northwest corner of town are the burgeoning communities of Reunion and Williamstown. Reunion is already well underway with porch-front homes with rear lanes in the back and laneless garage-front homes. The area’s four builders have 16 show homes so builders have plenty of opportunities to visualize what they are buying.

Nearby is Williamstown, a community that is just getting underway in the Nose Creek corridor that will include a 45-acre environmental reserve. When completed more than 1,000 families will live in this natural parkland that is also close to a shopping centre that includes a major grocery store and other retailers and restaurants that will be easy to access through town pathways.

In the exact opposite end of town in the city’s southeast two more new neighbourhoods are bringing a mix of housing for a variety of people.

In King’s Heights single family homes are complemented with the Zen townhouses, which is as BuiltGreen project, and one and two bedroom apartment-style condomiums in the Courtyards of King’s Heights. All of the developments in this growing neighbourhood are tied together by ponds, pathways and playgrounds.

Nearby, in the up and coming area of Ravenswood, a quaint English village is envisioned. Ravenswood’s developer, Qualico Communities, will marry affordable housing for young families with environmental standards that promote sustainability.

Airdrie is also home to a number of condominium projects in varying stages of construction. The Edge is a two-phase apartment style condominium that is a dream for those with an active lifestyle who still want all the conveniences within walking distance. The Edge is steps from Airdrie’s brand new recreation centre and East Lake Park and is kitty corner from a number of retailers, restaurants and a hot cup of Tim Horton’s coffee. Railtown is a seven story apartment steel and concrete building that is anything but cold in Airdrie’s downtown core.

The Breeze in Bayside, a community along Airdrie’s west side and home to many natural springs and creeks, has both three-bedroom townhomes with double-attached garages and apartment style condos with anywhere from one to three bedrooms and heated underground parking.

Crown Shores is a large apartment style condominium near Reunion and the future Williamstown, which also borders a growing commercial area. Crown Shores is close to completion and is expected to start allowing occupancy in the coming months.

Prairie Springs
Prominent Homes Ltd.
Talisman Homes
Gallery Homes
Jager Homes
McKee Homes
Loreck Homes
Beattie Homes
Centrex Homes

Homes by Avi
Beattie Homes
McKee Homes
Trillium Developments

King’s Heights
Jayman Master Built
Loreck Homes
McKee Homes
Reid Built
Shane Homes

Excel Homes
Shane Homes

Broadview Homes
McKee Homes
NuVista Homes
Pacesetter Homes

Sabal Homes
Jayman Master Built
McKee Homes
Excel Homes

Developer – Vesta Properties

Mattamy Homes

Multi-family and condominiums
The Edge by Renascence Developments Corporation
Crown Shores - Crown Properties International Corporation
Railtown – Swiatek Homes
The Breeze – Genesis Land Development
Zen town homes –
Avalon Master Builder
The Courtyard of King’s Heights – Merge by Beattie Homes
Synergy – Reid Built Homes
Valley Park – Mckee Homes

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