Two land developers have agreed to front-end the initial $11 million cost of construction on a piece of infrastructure seen as key for future growth in Chestermere.
Anthem United and Qualico Communities will upfront the entire initial capital cost to construct the second phase of the Rainbow Road sanitary trunk, which at full build out, will service up to 40,000 residents.
Qualico’s community of Dawson’s Landing and Anthem United’s community of Chelsea will be among the communities that benefit from this infrastructure. As Chelsea and Dawson’s Landing build out, their developers will recover a proportionate share of their costs, with development levies on other lands that benefit from the sanitary trunk covering the balance of the cost of the entire project.
“I think it’s a win-win,” says Bob Faktor, Anthem United’s vice-president, land development. “It’s a critical piece of infrastructure to service these new growth lands.”
Claudio Palumbo, vice-president of Qualico Communities in Calgary, agrees, adding from the developer’s perspective, it’s beneficial, as “we can control the schedule and we have the opportunity and ability to control costs because the contractors work for us.”
Previously, Chestermere Utilities Inc. would pay for and construct capital projects, and then be reimbursed through off-site levies. Council voted to dissolve this company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the city of Chestermere, as it presently exists, in June.
“This is a substantial change in how Chestermere is moving forward and doing business,” says Chestermere Mayor Marshall Chalmers. “Previously the city was very involved in deep servicing, which is substantial dollars. By making this shift, it’s going to allow both Anthem United and Qualico to move forward on their own … it gives them their own timing.
“It allows them to work under their own guidance rather than someone else dictating,” he adds. “To me, that’s just huge,” he adds. “And of course, it takes the debt away from us, to do the initial infrastructure.”
Chelsea is expected to build out to 2,081 homes with about 7,000 residents, while Dawson’s Landing will have about 4,500 residents and 1,305 homes. Both communities are slated for a range of home styles, including single-family, semi-detached, and multi-family.
“Both (developers) are so well respected because of their history,” says Chalmers. “We are truly excited to have them engaged in this.”
For Qualico — which is behind Calgary communities such as Evanston, Redstone, and Crestmont — Dawson’s Landing is the developer’s debut in the Chestermere market. Anthem United, the developer behind communities Nolan Hill, Sage Hill, and Belmont in Calgary, last worked in Chestermere in the late 1990s with Lakeview Landing.
“We saw the direction that the city was taking,” says Palumbo on the company’s interest in Chestermere. “We hear a lot about it being open for business and the proof is in the pudding.”
When it comes to amenities, he adds, “they’re all here.”
“You’ve got the lake, shopping, schools, and you’ve got employment just down the road.”
Faktor also highlights the appeal of Chestermere’s west side, specifically, pointing to its proximity to Stoney Trail, east Calgary employment hubs, and Calgary International Airport. “It’s a very appealing location for a prospective homebuyer,” he adds.