There are big and new community development projects, there are massive and new community development projects – and then there’s Harmony, a two-time Community of the Year winner at the Annual BILD Calgary Awards – and a finalist again this year.
Just how big is Harmony, a joint venture partnership co-managed between Bordeaux Developments and Qualico Communities? So big that it has its own water treatment plant. So big, says Bordeaux’s VP Marketing and Communications, Ryan Hall, that, at build out, it will house more than 10,000 residents. The first lake is 40 acres and the second lake and wetland area will be more than double that size at 100 acres. And don’t forget the 18-hole, 7,800-yard championship golf course designed by none other than ‘Lefty’ himself, professional golfer, Phil Mickelson.
In fact, it might be easiest to think of the new development, which occupies more than 1,750 acres of prime Springbank-area real estate just north of the Trans-Canada Highway and is projected to take 20-25 years to complete, as its own small town.
“We launched the showhomes with a grand opening in November of 2015,” says Hall. “Because of the complexity and amount of infrastructure in Harmony, we had started earthworks and our Advanced Water and Waste Water treatment plants almost two years before that. The land had virtually no trees when we started with it, and Harmony will add approximately 17,000 trees to the project,”
In addition to its own treatment facilities, Harmony was designed with advanced sustainability measures, including a drainage network of bioswales and wetlands and a lot of pathways. “There’s quite a substantial amount of breathing room in Harmony,” says Hall, “which is a large piece of its lifestyle appeal. It’s about 25 per cent of the community if you include the golf course. About 14 kilometres of walking paths have been constructed to date, with an expected total 25 kilometres or so planned to connect the entire community.”
The streets and home styles are named after native plants and trees, while Phase Two homes will feature street names that are types of fish native to Alberta Rivers.
The plan, says Hall, is for an amenity-rich community, offering residents value added in the form of a future beach club and outdoor adventure park, a village centre, large central playground and park for children, school sites (with the first K-9 school planned by Rocky View County), and commercial development nodes that will accommodate a variety of business potential.
Today, Harmony has the first of its two recreational lakes complete which residents and their guests have enjoyed the past two summers. The golf course is also coming along nicely, according to Hall. “It’s looking amazing. It’s been a big, complex course to construct, but everyone who tours it is wowed by the amount of terra-forming and elevation changes. The clubhouse is in design right now and we anticipate the operator of the golf course will offer opportunities to tour and play this spring.
“It’s really a lifestyle experience you are buying into,” he says, with the appeal of a variety of amenities that are part of the design. “Today, families love the lake living experience with one of the biggest residential lakes in Calgary and area and soon the golf course will be another significant draw for recreational fun. The second is the fantastic housing designs available with a blend of modern and traditional styles that connect the old with the new, and the third is the proximity to the mountains.”
With all this going for it, it’s no surprise that home sales in Harmony have been steady since the community launched. “We have 200 higher-end single-family homes and paired villas in Harmony right now,” explains Hall. “We expect a jump in growth this year once we launch our new market segments that will hit a lower price point and allow more families to join us, including the new single-family Poplar collection. Harmony is very much a family community, and many of our households have two or three young children.” Harmony also supports multi-generational living, he says, with homes suited for empty nesters, and the current Aspen Collection of Carriage homes, which allows for private suites to be built above the rear detached garage.
Home builders in Harmony read like a who’s who in the local industry, with some of the Calgary area’s top builders on site, including Baywest Homes, Broadview Homes, Augusta Fine Homes, Calbridge Homes, Sterling Homes and NuVista Homes. All are single-family residences, many with larger lot sizes than you might find in the city, with NuVista also offering a paired bungalow villa layout. Streetside Developments will begin construction on two new townhome projects later this year.
Pricing starts in the $600,000s for the single-family Aspen collection of laned homes, the Willows collection of bungalows from the $700,000s. This fall, a new collection of Tamarack Estate Homes arrives from the $900,000s. Their new townhome projects, single-family Poplar homes and the highly anticipated lake front Edgewater Collection will be available this year.
“Our residents have really embraced life in Harmony, and while you can’t measure spirit, you can definitely tell this community has a lot of it. They’ve developed a bond as neighbours and enjoy planning and hosting socials. As the developer, this experience is what we hoped to create and it’s amazing to see it coming to life.”