After years of development, the first show home in Edmonton’s budding Blatchford community is now open.
“Feels good to be the first pioneers and be here,” said Vic Mutti, sales manager for Mutti Homes.
“It’s exciting news for the company, the Blatchford community and the city as well.”
Mutti said there’s been a lot of interest since opening the show home three days ago.
“We’ve been busy,” he said. “The location is unbeatable.
Everybody is excited — people come in here — they’re just waiting for it to open.”
The first residents moved into Blatchford about a month ago, according to development manager Tom Lumsden.
“It’s a real community,” Lumsden said Thursday.
“There’s amenities on site, meaning park space, the storm pond with trails, so we’re in a good spot for the beginning of the community.”
An added challenge this year, he said, has been figuring out how to operate virtually.
“We’re still getting sales, we’re still getting interest, we’re still getting people coming,” Lumsden explained.
“Now that we have a presence on site, I think people and sales will pick up, because it’s easier to sell when you have something to see.”
It’s been seven years since the Edmonton City Centre Airport closed, making way for the development.
Blatchford is designed to house up to 30,000 people when complete.
It’s built on 536 acres, 10 minutes from the downtown core.
The aim is to make it a sustainable community with its own geothermal energy plant.
Despite the development’s slow progress, Mayor Don Iveson thinks the economic turndown won’t upend it. Instead, it may just take longer to come to fruition.
“There will be continued demand for all forms of housing in the city over time,” Iveson said Thursday.
“The opportunity to live central, close to LRT, which is being expanded even further into the neighbourhood, right by NAIT… all of those fundamentals are still strong for the long term and the city can afford to be a patient developer of those lands.”
The community will be under development for roughly the next two decades.
Stage 2 of the project is slated to begin next summer.