Expect the sounds of construction to carry on in Squamish.
Lots are coming on the market for Squamish’s new Skyridge development. The first 15 plots of land on the 20-acre parcel at the end of Dowad Drive will be for sale this month. Once road work is completed by the end of this year, construction of the neighbourhood’s houses can begin, according to Jason Wood, general manager of Diamond Head Development.
The next phase, which will see townhouses and duplexes built, is slated to start in the second quarter of next year.
“We started our marketing campaign just a few weeks ago and we’ve already had a huge amount of interest. There are a lot of people looking for homes in the area,” said Wood, adding the development will have views of the Stawamus Chief, Howe Sound and the Tantalus Range.
Detailed plans of the community’s 100 to 120 units of housing, including renderings of the West Coast Modern style homes, will be submitted to Squamish’s planning department in December.
An elementary school and childcare facility are also in the plans for the future neighbourhood, which will be located north of the Garibaldi Springs Golf Course.
With more young families moving to the city, some people agree that Squamish needs a new school. Squamish Montessori School is in talks with the developer to occupy the space when it’s built.
“We have a big demand for our preschool. There is a waitlist with around 50 children,” Lindsay Graye, the school’s principal, told The Squamish Chief. “Most of those students stay with us for Grades 1 to 6, and we need more space so we can take more students. We are limited where we are.”
Around $425,000 worth of amenities will benefit Squamish residents, including a central park, public washroom, connections to surrounding trails and a paved cycling lane that runs the length of the property to Jack’s Trail, a popular mountain biking location. A $100,000 cash contribution, which council has suggested go towards an affordable housing fund in the district, will also be provided, according to a district document.
The success of Rivendale, a 24-unit duplex development in Brackendale also built by Diamond Head Development, will drive the architectural style of Skyridge, Woods said.
“We’ve had great feedback on Rivendale. People really like the West Coast modern look, and it’s similar to what we have planned for Skyridge.” The homes feature vaulted ceilings, natural wood accents and large windows.
“Housing is a scarce commodity in Squamish,” he said, adding that he’s heard from grandparents who want to move closer to their children and grandchildren. To accommodate their wish list, including a limited number of stairs to climb, Skyridge’s housing mix will include one-level townhouse units.
“People living in Vancouver have finally realized that Squamish is a wonderful place to live and raise kids. Now that their families live here, grandparents have told me they are searching for homes for themselves,” said Wood, noting publicity of Squamish, such as the city placing 32nd on The New York Times’ top 50 places to visit in the world in 2015, is one reason new residents are flocking to the community.
Proximity to Vancouver and Whistler as well as the city’s outdoor activities are bringing new residents to Squamish, he added.
“When we sold homes in Rivendale, about 50 per cent of people were from Squamish and 50 per cent were from other locations. Now there are many more people who are new to the area.”
PHOTO: Jason Wood, general manager of Diamond Head Development, which will be building the new Skyridge development on Dowad Drive. Submitted photo.
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