By Michael Bernard. Published on: June 9, 2016 | Last Updated: June 9, 2016 11:25 AM PST
Project: Pacific Landing at Havenwood
Project location: Colwood, in the western communities of Victoria
Project size/scope: The first of a six-phase development on a 12-acre oceanfront site. The 650 feet of shoreline is partly dedicated to a migratory bird sanctuary. Next door to 500 acres of walking and biking trails at Royal Roads University
Prices: From $430,000 for a 1,050-square-foot home
Developer: Pacific Landing Limited Partnership, Calgary
Architect: Zeidler BKDI, Calgary
Interior designer: Sheri Peterson Interior Design, Victoria
Sales centre: Discovery Centre, 3221 Heatherbell Road, Victoria
Sales contact: Mark Preston
Sales phone: 778-265-8289
Hours: noon — 5 p.m., daily
Site Telephone: 778-265-8288
Occupancy: March 2017
For Kathy and Blahne Sukut, Pacific Landing near Victoria makes it possible to live in two worlds: in their Alberta Prairie home in the Calgary suburb of Okotoks part of the year, and in an oceanside community just west of Victoria the rest of the time
Unlike many Albertans who pull up stakes and permanently retire to places like the Okanagan Valley or Vancouver Island, the Sukuts are just fine moving between their home province and B.C.
“We have always lived in Alberta,” said Kathy, 59, adding that their former farm in the tiny agricultural town of Milo had been in the family since 1905. They got a taste of Vancouver Island by visiting their daughter when she attended university in Nanaimo, and Kathy’s sister who lives in Comox to the north.
“We liked the island and had such a good time out there. When we saw the Pacific Landing property two years ago, it was really impressive.”
“After being on the Prairies, it was pretty awesome to be on the ocean,” said Blahne, 65. They have purchased one of the 33 homes in the first phase, all of which have two bedrooms and two bathrooms in a 1,050-square-foot space in three- and four-storey buildings.
“I really like the idea of a place we can fly to in an hour,” said Kathy, with Blahne noting they still enjoy winter sports so plan to split their time between their two homes. “I also like the concept of what they are doing, which is building a community.”
The Sukuts first learned of the project a few years ago when developer Randy Royer, who conceived of the Okanagan Grand resort in Kelowna, gave a presentation in Calgary. For Royer, Pacific Landing is an extension of his vision for the seven-acre Okanagan Grand Resort on the edge of Okanagan Lake, catering to baby boomers’ need for community in retirement.
“My concept was that the baby boomers want a playground. People want lifestyle, they are going to want to be in a milder climate and have more ‘cerebral’ opportunities there.
“They are going to want to build a community, build friendships and a life in which they give back to the community and have friends and family and community around them.”
Royer said he and his partners decided the best place for that was right next door to Royal Roads University in Victoria’s western communities. They purchased the property in 2007 and then watched as the downturn forced them to wait on development plans.
The time was put to good use, though. The partnership worked with the Coast Collective Arts group, which operates an art museum and school on the property in the historic Pendray House estate, an 8,400-square-foot mansion in the arts and crafts genre.
Pacific Landing’s current development plan calls for six phases to be executed over the next three or four years. In the first phase, buildings have only four homes per floor, giving owners panoramic views from two sides, many of them with ocean views. When completed, there will be 115 homes, including three-bedroom suites, a cooking theatre, a boutique hotel with wellness spa, restaurants, wine bars and pubs, and a grocery store.
While most of the buyers to date are aged 50 to 65, Royer said the goal is to create an “intergenerational community.”
“We want to build a place where they (the homeowners) can continue to be comfortable and don’t have to go into retirement homes. They can build their community until they are 80 and will be comfortable staying there. We want couplesto stay in their homes and have the services brought to them.”
Royer says Pacific Landing will even feature office spaces with business services for those who want to continue working in their retirement. Pacific Landing partners have even anticipated that some owners would prefer to leave operating the amenities to someone else. While it will have a strata council, terms people serve will be limited, with much of the administration will be handled by professionals, he said.
Royer said it took a while for Vancouver Island real estate values to feel the influence of the red-hot Metro Vancouver market. Now Vancouver residents can sell their homes and have cash to spare after buying oceanfront property at Pacific Landing, he said.
Meanwhile, the Sukuts, with three children and their parents still living in the Calgary area, are bracing for the inevitable rush of family to their new digs. We have family that keep asking when the place is going to be ready so they can go,” said Kathy. “It’s a holiday without the expense of a hotel.”
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