Planning a community around existing forests and fresh air has earned a local developer this year’s community development award from BILD Central Alberta.
The Community Development Award was given to Sixty West, a real estate development in Sylvan Lake set in the midst of five acres of forest with over 700 homes and over trails, parks and ponds.
“Winning the Community Development Award was a huge thrill for us,” said Sixty West president Doug McGill. “We feel very honoured for our development to be recognized in this way by our industry peers in the BILD Association; after spending so many years turning our dream of what a beautiful and healthy community should look like, into reality, which eventually became Sixty West and Waterford Station.
“We share this honour with many others who believed in the vision and helped tremendously on this journey. We (owe) a huge debt of gratitude to many people.”
McGill explained focusing on health, happiness and connection to nature were the motivation behind creating the new subdivision, located west of 60th Street on Sylvan Lake’s westernmost boundary.
“We realized at the outset that people’s lifestyle expectations were evolving,” said McGill. “Why can’t everyone feel like they are living in a park? These thoughts became our motivation for creating the vision for Sixty West in a perfect rolling, well-treed quarter-section of character land with a forest in the centre.
”We wanted to create a community where people are drawn out of their homes by beautiful surroundings, to go for walks, meet and mix with their neighbours, and breathe fresh air. These things seem to be emotionally uplifting, and good for the soul. We hope we have accomplished all this.”
Instead of bulldozing the land first and then adding nature back, the community was planned around existing nature.
McGill is also excited about the future of Waterford Station — a 20-acre commercial/retail centre. Blackstone Developments envisions it being a regional attraction when finished.
Currently there are three retail businesses open. Future plans include a restaurant, major grocery story and other national brand shopping and services.
The BILD Central Alberta awards for home builders, developers and related trades were handed out in May.