Work began Tuesday on developing lots that could hold up to 55 single-family homes in the northwest area of Fort St. John.
The homes will be part of the next phase of the Garrison Landing development— already underway near 117th Avenue and 103rd Street.
Dave Steele, CEO of Western Canadian Properties Group — the company that is building the homes — said he expects an entry-level price would be around $600,000 to $650,000.
Other “ultra-beautiful” homes in the development could go for more than $1 million.
The average home in Fort St. John has been assessed at $374,000 in 2015, according to the B.C. Assessment Authority.
Steele said that he hopes to have 55 lots on over 29 acres ready for construction by September, with move-in dates by next spring.
Steele added that his company has been building in the area for the past three years.
“We know that when you get a beautiful day like this, and you have a short weather window like this, you better be using every day that you can to build.”
Steele expects big things are in store for Fort St. John.
“People haven’t grasped what’s about to happen,” he said.
“With the number of big, final investment decisions to be made, there’s just going to be a tsunami of jobs hitting Fort St. John and Dawson Creek. When that happens, everybody’s going to be scrambling to buy a limited number of homes.”
Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman praised the start of construction.
“Appropriate and adequate housing development is vital to building sustainable communities,” she said.
Ackerman said she attended an event with Grade 3 school children earlier Tuesday.
One child apparently told her that his parents were trying to find a new house, but they couldn’t find one.
“I told him, ‘Hold on, it’s coming,’” she said. “There’s a lot being built, and we need to tell that to the community.”
Seymour Pacific, another development company, started the Garrison Landing project in 2012.
Western Canadian Property Group is now in the process of taking over the project from Seymour Pacific, and the acquisition is expected to be finalized by June, a press release states.
Western Canadian will take over the third and fourth phases of the project.
Steele said he purchased the project from Seymour Pacific because of the opportunities he saw within Fort St. John.
Another company, REALNorth Opportunities Fund, is also partnering with Western Canadian to finance the project.