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October 27, 2017 9:14 pm

Townhouse Development Proceeds in Westgate

Sunday, September 11, 2016 @ 6:59 AM
(l-r) Gordon Langer of Brink Boardwalk Properties, Mayor Lyn Hall and NewRock Developments President Cam Ens at ground breaking Saturday.  Photo 250News

(l-r) Gordon Langer of Brink Boardwalk Properties, Mayor Lyn Hall and NewRock Developments President Cam Ens at ground breaking Saturday. Photo 250News

Prince George, B.C. – A new 36-unit luxury townhouse development has been unveiled for the Westgate subdivision of Prince George.

Promoted as “luxury homes at unbeatable prices”, Ridgestone Villas will offer 2 and 3-bedroom open concept floor plans covering from 1,270 to 1,400 square feet, six appliances, granite countertops, main floor laundry and large attached garage.

Located at 6798 Westgate Avenue, all of the units will have an undeveloped basement and a few will have walk-out basements.  The project is located in green space adjacent to an existing residential neighbourhood.

NewRock Developments out of Medicine Hat, Alberta, which has 14 similar developments in Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as one in Fort St. John, says it contributes to local economies by contracting local trades and services for its projects.

Construction of the Ridgestone Villas is to begin right away, with a show home expected to be ready for viewing by the spring of 2017.  An on site sales office is now open and sales of 3-bedroom units in Phase 1 are now underway, with prices starting under $300,000.

Graphic design rendering of completed Ridgestone Villas development

Graphic design rendering of completed Ridgestone Villas development

NewRock Developments President Cam Ens welcomed Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall to the official ground breaking ceremony and barbecue at the Westgate Avenue site Saturday afternoon.  They were joined by Brink Boardwalk Properties Managing Broker Gordon Langer.

Ens says families and children will be welcome in the complex, “it’s an open community, yes,” he says.  Pets will be welcome, too.  “Yup, certain size animals are allowed, like two cats or dogs if they’re smaller, so no problems with pets.”

Construction is schedule to start immediately.  Asked about a completion date for the project Ens said “we’re going to have the show suite open this spring (2017) and the whole project completion will depend on how sales go.  We’ve got four phases.”

Aerial view of project site with artist's rendering of townhouse development

Aerial view of project site with artist’s rendering of townhouse development

Ens did not have a figure on how many people would be employed in the construction of the complex.  “I don’t, again it’s something we could work out if I talk to my business partner who handles construction.  But we will be doing all of our trades locally, that’s always important for us.”

As mentioned Ridgestone Villas is NewRock’s second project in B.C., joining the Fort St John complex.  And Ens says there will be more expansion into BC.  “In Prince George specifically.  Our next project we’d like to do senior bungalows.  That would be where we do an age-restricted community specifically designed for the older demographic.”

“The whole city has been built around families and there seems to be a lacking of options for seniors or for the older demographic.  We’ve done a couple of projects like that in Lethbridge and Moose Jaw that are specifically designed for seniors and they’ve been very well received, so hopefully we’re going to get something ready for the spring for that.”

Ens says the entire completed Ridgestone Villas project would come in at an estimated $11 million.

Mayor Lyn Hall is pleased to see this development proceed.  “Another great project in Prince George and I’m elated about the fact that NewRock Developments have chosen Prince George to give us one of our newest subdivisions.”

Asked if he is welcoming the continued expansion of the city to the west, Hall says “ya, absolutely, from my perspective we’re welcoming the expansion in any direction.  When we have developers come to town and they take a look at what’s happening in the west, there’s a great deal of interest because you have the larger box stores that seem to attract different types of development like this.  But I think its accessibility too on Highway 16.”

“And one of the things that I would really like to see is this kind of development in the Hart, for example.  We’ve talked to a number of people in the Hart area that really would like to see a seniors development or something similar to what NewRock are doing here in Westgate.  And so this is an important style of development really in any area of our community.”

Mayor Hall says he’s not that surprised to see an Alberta company building homes here.  “I think what we’re seeing is Prince George has a very hot housing market right now, both on a residential perspective, we’ve seen the Riverbend complex, the Marriott.  So we’re seeing a lot of developers have confidence in our community and they’re seeing a need for this type of housing.”

“And yes, the developers that are looking at us are obviously our local developers but also out of town.  And perhaps some of the downturn in the economy in Alberta is helping B.C., and in this case Prince George the developers look and say well what else can we do.  They look across the border and see that we’re in pretty good shape from an economy perspective.”

“We’ve had some very good reports out recently around our growth projections from an economical perspective and so we’re on the map, and we have really sent the message as a council that we’re open for business and we want developers to come and see us.”

Commenting on Mr. Ens’ comment on building a seniors development here Hall says “when this council was sworn in we heard from residents that look, you need to do something to retain seniors here.  We work very hard to keep our young folks here with the university and CNC, and there’s good job opportunities.  But we want the seniors to stay in Prince George.”

“If you want to go away for a few months every winter great, but we want you to come home.  And we heard loud and clear that if you want us to stay we need to have an opportunity to look at a different type of housing market.  And that’s the kind of housing market we’re seeing with Riverbend, with NewRock and, as the proponents of NewRock have said they’d like to do something from a seniors perspective, and there’s a huge market for it.”

“So we have a demand and we certainly want to meet the demand and satisfy the seniors around the housing piece.


Glad to see new projects in PG, but a couple of questions and concerns :

1. Are they required to do intersection improvements? That is a lot of new traffic being introduced to the area.

2. That horrible side road that feeds Westgate has no lights, no sidewalks and is in poor shape. What is the plan here with this new subdivision feeding onto it?

3. The old College Heights Motel is being developed into .. something. Again, does this trigger road improvements for all this new traffic?

    All the new traffic is in the first 100 meters, and there is a bus stop right at the entrance to the development. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone turn towards Westgate from the frontage road, think it is mainly used to turn left on to the highway from the mall since they closed the turn lane at the Ospika connector site and for buses, the odd foot traffic. The development will have their own sidewalks they will maintain themselves.

I agree that more housing is needed and I’m pleased to see new development in the city, but I too am wondering about the traffic flow. Either way, the whole project isn’t going to affect me. As a senior, once again, these condos/townhouses are unaffordable for me. I get that there is a new seniors project being built now, but I wish the City would wake up and build more bare-bones affordable housing for seniors who want to sell their homes and downsize!

We don’t need luxury townhouses, we need something in the middle for younger couples or singles. I have several friends looking to buy, they don’t want the hassle of a house but they don’t want to spend $300,000 on a townhouse plus the strata fees on top of that. Put in nice apartments or a bit less luxuries townhouses around town for that demographic too!

    Right? We got a call from developers asking how we felt about multi family housing in our area. I said I was glad there would be an affordable option for young families. The response “oh no, these won’t be inexpensive – they’ll start at 400 thousand.” Why???

What happened to the Dahl house downtown?

Too bad they did not leave any trees against the existing fences. The neighbours would have appreciated this.

    Yes that would have been Nice!

So it has been asked before…who is buying all these places? PG isn’t increasing in population so who is buying them, and what’s happening to their old places?

    I really don’t get it either, but when we moved to our place in a new development our older house sold in three days. The houses in the new neighbourhood sell with ease. It is kind of strange. It feels like there should be more people.

    Who is buying them ? People with money that want a turnkey place that they can lock up and travel . For me , this is a sign that PG is growing up a little .

Those condos aren’t really that luxurious. If you want to see luxury check this one out . Rosco can’t build them fast enough . Most of them sold before they were built . MLS r2084547 they are only 630K . They also have a fenced monitored RV compound . I don’t see one at this PG project . I don’t think they know their customer base as well as they should .

    Do they come with a solar system???

“36-unit luxury townhouse development”

Just because one puts the world “luxury” into a development does not mean that is what it is.

There is a similar density of housing on the opposite corner.

The density is barely higher than a standard 50 to 60 foot wide Single Family detached dwelling lot.

This is a continuation of the standard sprawling development in PG that makes it costly to provide City services, whether garbage collection, public transit, mail delivery, snow removal, street cleaning, pavement maintenance, sidewalks, utilities, sidewalks, etc. The strands of “spaghetti” roads which tie the housing together are not getting any shorter.

For me, some of the prerequisites of a “luxury” condo, other than the condo itself would be good connection to a park, a view, little street noise, etc.

This one is starting off on the wrong foot as far as personal luxury and sustainability friendly to the rest of the taxpayers in this city.

There are some good examples in the city. 6th and Vancouver is one of the older ones. Why can’t we learn from those?

    It’s like the “luxury” Brink development at Nechako View. What makes it “luxury”? Power sidewalks and outdoor climate control? Silk lawn vs grass? Just because you charge $280k for a patch of dirt, it’s luxurious?

    This is a townhouse development not a few houses on a street.

    It is the cheapest for the city in terms of services. They have their own garbage collection, shovel and plow their own snow, sweep/clean their own streets, have one storm and one sewer outlet – maybe even collect their own storm water and reclaim it as most lots are doing now, and their strata takes care of the building and road/yard maintenance.

    Looks like someone has cleared the land between them and the old motel as well – phase 2?

Affordable for who? I guarantee that “inexpensive” will be between $300-400,000. Even if they build small bungalows for seniors they’ll be priced beyond mostly all of our abilities.

I’m a senior, I own my house, approx $260,000. It would be great if I could downsize to a small bungalow, no basement needed!! for about $150,000 and I’d have some $$$ to travel!

As it is now, I’d have to take out a mortgage above the amount from the sale of my house…….and travel?? Ha,ha,ha! Where? To Vanderhoof?

I see now that Asher Place is renting, so you buy a place there (not! And still beyond my reach) and then you have renters coming and going!

Most of the seniors I know are staying in their homes because nothing else is affordable.

Oh, and don’t say I could get an apartment cheaper….. I don’t want an apt, I want to walk out my own door. There are many of us who are seniors, but far from the old folks homes yet!!

Oh, and another thing you’ll probably comment on….I DONT WANT THE HART! College Hts area is where it’s at for all your shopping needs. I would possibly enjoy a newer mobile home with a small yard, but there’s only Morgan Estates, and rarely a sale there, perhaps he should build another park!

Ok, enough ranting….but it felt good 😉

    agree 99.9% 😉

    I went to view the web page for this development after I posted the above.

    It is a nice web page.

    The unit layout and sizes of spaces are no better than Upland Village which is now around 50 years old. Renovate those with new exteriors as well as totally new interiors, take some pictures for a 3d viewing spaces and one would have a difficult time distinguishing between the two.

    The kitchen is shown as almost 12 feet long but in reality is no longer than about 8 feet since there is a corridor to the living/dining room that cuts through it.

    The bathrooms/powder room are all from the 1960’s standard 1,000 to 1,100 sf houses – 5ft wide by 8ft to 9ft long with single sink 36 inch wide vanities.

    There is nothing luxurious about this place.

    The granite countertops may even be epoxy rather than actual stone and the flooring probably some sort of laminate rather than solid wood/ceramics.

    If you in deed have 260K . That would if properly invested give you between 13 and 26k a year plus cap gain . You have more options than you think . You could rent anywhere you want and keep the change . If I were you I would start reading “greaterfool.ca ” read about Garth first . He has helped thousands of seniors become liquid , free and back in charge . I kid you not .

      “read about Garth first . He has helped thousands of seniors become liquid”…..Soylent Green? ;) Sorry, couldn’t resist.

And the Mayor lives in Southridge..wonder why there is so much development out west? Same reason Tyner Blvd. has lights on the every post!

    Oh c’mon oldman1. For years, (before Lyn Hall) it’s 2016 and 20,000 people live “up the hart”. And to his day, a person can’t buy a pair of socks or gaunch “up the Hart”….I don’t think Lyn Hall is to blame for the lack of amenities “up the Hart”.

I just hope they stick to the zoning bylaws-“RM3”–Its a small area!

A lot of the older houses are being bought up as rentals. Some people own as many as 12 houses around town and rent them out. Then of course we have the absentee landlords.

Prince George’s population has not grown for the past 10 years, so the only people who are buying houses are those people who were born here 25/35 years ago, have now married and are buying a house, or building new.

Lots of people come in from the surrounding area and rent in Prince George. Births and deaths are approx. the same on a yearly basis. Graduates get some pretty good jobs by replacing those who retire.

No new industry in town. Actually we have lost industry, so no new jobs. Lots of lost jobs in the outlying areas.

So, looks like we have the recipe for a good dyed in the wool housing collapse in the not too distant future. To many houses being built for the number of people available to buy them. Over capacity means that someone is going to lose some money.

Are you predicting the outcome of the 2016 census? ;-)

Looking at the known census data from 2001 to 2011, there was a change from 72,406 to 71974 for a drop of 0.6%

The worst 10-year period drop was from 1996 to 2006 when the population dropped by 5.5% from 75,150 to 70,981.

Here is the data for the housing stock age as well as an indication of how many dwelling units (of all types) were built during the boom times of the 15 or so years starting with the building of the three pulp mills.
City of PG dwellings by construction year and by % makeup of stock current to the 2011 census

1960 or before 3,550 12.1%
1961 to 1970 6,910 23.6%
1971 to 1980 8,910 30.4%
1981 to 1990 3,760 12.8%
1991 to 2000 4,220 14.4%
2001 to 2011 1,915 6.5%

In 2011 there were 29,265 dwelling units ranging from single family detached residential (about 65% of the stock) to townhouses, apartments and mobile homes. That averages out to just under 2.5 people per dwelling unit.

In Victoria, for instance, that average is just under 2.0. It used to be over 3.0 in PG.

Even though few houses are being torn down to build apartments or duplexes or narrower but larger single family dwellings (look at the Vancouver-Winnipeg corridor) people are moving out of the 1961 to 1980 stock to move into new houses as children leave and into apartments or assisted living units as they retire as couples and as singles if one of the spouses passes on.

Such changes are seen in changing housing demands resulting in new housing units with a lower average occupancy per housing unit.

We have been seeing another metric in this community, the tear down of old stock from the first 50 years to be replaced with new stock.

Using new housing units construction as a measure of an increasing economy of a city is not a good indicator by itself.

    I thought there was no useable data in the 2011 census?

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