Bordeaux Developments, Qualico partner in unique Alberta village community

Bordeaux Developments and Qualico Communities are joining forces on the innovative Harmony village development in Rocky View County. Set on 1,700 acres near Calgary’s Springbank Airport, Harmony has been designed as a self-sustained, varied community where people can live, work, play and get away.

Harmony VillageQualico Communities’ vice-president Karin Finley says credit for Harmony’s comprehensive vision begins with Bordeaux Properties’ president and CEO Birol Fisekci. “This is an example of an individual and a team who saw a possibility and continued moving forward to attain it,” she said.

Land to the west of Calgary has proven popular due to its proximity to the downtown, to Banff National Park and to the Rocky Mountains. According to Harmony’s website, “constant demand for such land has now created a lack of developable land in the west.”

Part of the opportunity lay in the location, as well as the size of the holding, which gave ground to the potential for creating a village.

Will include 3,500 homes

When it is completed in a decade or so, it will include 3,500 homes, a roughly 135-acre lake, a 27-hole championship golf course and a 138-acre employment campus. A village core adjacent to the lake will include boutiques, other retail opportunities and community gathering spaces. Later stages call for the addition of a health centre, a planned farmers’ market and schools.

Development plans also call for the planting of 17,000 trees and neighbourhoods created with “pedestrians, not cars, in mind.”

Finley says Qualico became a joint venture partner in February and thanks to its extensive land development experience and funding to back the project, the first shovel is poised to hit dirt once the next approval has been received.

The first stage of construction will include installation of the off-site water line which will lead to further approvals, including show home permits expected this fall enabling show homes to be available for viewing by fall 2015.

As part of the overall water plan, a partnership has been established with Alberta WaterSMART through which Harmony will implement measures to reduce water usage in the village. It will also use a “Triple Bottom Line approach to providing high quality water, stormwater and wastewater services through responsible, sustainable and innovative stewardship.”

Finley says Phase One will involve installing predominantly single-family homes at the entrance to the community with a component of attached homes, and will include extensive digging out of the lake and grading for the golf course.

“When it is fully built out, Harmony will be home to about 10,000 people through a combination of single-family homes, villas, townhomes and condos. There is an opportunity for estate lots set along the lake and golf course and some multi-family boathouses along the lake.”

She says homes for seniors and age-in-place opportunities are also a possibility, with partners holding relevant expertise being added.

Plenty of Calgary builders

Though home builders have not yet been confirmed, Finley says Calgary is home to a good complement of builders who will be able to align with Harmony’s vision of homes built of quality materials and through quality architecture and with a focus on sustainability. “Certainly many of our local builders are Built Green-certified but we recognize there is also an opportunity here to do better.”

Its website says “Harmony will be developed according to the principles of Smart Growth and incorporated environmental standards and guidelines from LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND).”

Initiatives include the planting of native vegetation and the reestablishment of significant plant species, reduction of stormwater and light pollution, waste management, energy- and water-efficient construction and comprehensive water management practices.

Finley says it is likely the community will bring in several innovations and will partner with the City of Calgary and the Alberta government to ensure the right decisions are being made, an aspect of partnership and collaboration Harmony is being built upon.

“Partnerships are fundamental to our success,” Finley says. “There has already been unprecedented collaboration with neighbours, industry peers and Rocky View County. Some partnerships have been well-established and many are yet to be developed.”

“Harmony is truly the culmination of many key partnerships with neighbours, government and industry leaders. Our partnership with Qualico is a perfect fit and continues the legacy of collaboration with the right people that makes Harmony unique,” Fisekci said in a media release. “The County of Rocky View has shown true leadership and trust in our process to create a progressive community which respects rural lifestyle while addressing residential and business growth needs.”

Finley says Harmony is aptly named.

“It is both the way we will develop the community and the experience we hope to create for the residents who will live here.”

Heather Seftel-Kirk studied journalism at Algonquin College in Ottawa. She went on to work as a writer in the investment industry and obtained her licence to work as a registered…

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Heather Seftel-Kirk studied journalism at Algonquin College in Ottawa. She went on to work as a writer in the investment industry and obtained her licence to work as a registered…

Read more

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