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September 25, 2017

Talking communities

Dream lays out vision for “Millennial” homes and communities

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A home can only be as good as the community it is in. That has always been the guiding principle at Dream. Now, the multi-national land developer and real estate asset management group is thinking of new ways to improve the communities we live in for the future.


The key to fulfilling the vision, according to Dream’s Vice-President of Housing, Ryan Armstrong, is the Millennial generation.

He says the Millennials are the future, and it is vital that home builders and land developers like themselves adjust to this generation’s wants and needs sooner than later.

“Today’s youth are more worldly, they are more informed and more knowledgeable of the world they live in. They don’t necessarily want the same things that previous generations wanted,” Armstrong says.

Dream is gearing for this future when Millennials control the markets — home buying most of all — by crafting its homes and communities to suit their needs.

“It’s not just about big square-footages now. Millennials want homes that don’t make them feel cooped up, they want communities that are more interconnected, where they can live, work, play with less dependence on their vehicles. They want communities they can stay and put down roots in and not the disposable mentality that has driven the market for years,” Armstrong says.

Formerly Dundee Developments — Dream (a clever acronym for Dundee Real Estate Asset Management) and their home building arm, Homes by Dream, are uniquely capable of bringing that vision alive. “To do all these things, you have to be able to adapt to the change, and the great thing with Dream is that we are a young company that isn’t burdened by tradition. We’re nimble and agile and we can easily create our own path.”

That path seems to be clear — building communities with “small town ideals” that encourages neighbours to know each other, sustainable, self-supporting villages or “communities within communities.”

It is a multi-faceted approach to “place-making” rather than community-building. “We want to get away from the old school way of thinking where houses are forced on the landscape rather than working with it. Endlessly winding streets with no sidewalks, instead of easy to navigate grid patterns,” he says.

“We want more rear-loaded homes that have more front porches and more windows that allow a friendlier streetscape. We want homes in communities that make you feel you’re part of the nature outside rather than tucked away from it.”

Armstrong’s ideal community would have ”the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker” living within a multigenerational community that is self-contained and sustainable and everyone — regardless of income levels — is welcome.

“The question we always ask ourselves at Dream is would we be willing to live in that community? Because it wouldn’t be worth the effort if we don’t think it’s worthwhile to live there.”

Armstrong says that Dream — because of its commercial and industrial concerns — will always have a presence in the communities they build. “We don’t just go away when the communities are done.” Previous developments of Castle Keep, Wentworth and Springside can attest to the fact.

They continue to build the vision across western Canada. In the Calgary area specifically, they are currently in Vista Crossing in Crossfield, Montrose in High River, and EvansRidge in Calgary’s northwest.

Vista Crossing is an escape from urbanized living, Armstrong says it is a place where residents can unplug and reconnect with what really matters. It is just a short commute north of Calgary, but without the bustle and congestion of big city living.

Homes by Dream offers laned homes from the $309,900s, while McKee Homes and ReidBuilt Homes have move-up front-attached garage homes and estate homes starting from $385,000s and $499,000s, respectively. Homes by Dream will soon introduce classically designed, low-maintenance townhomes here, too.

Montrose in High River has seen a lot of activity in the recent months, and Dream has broken ground for its latest phase.

Armstrong says he is quite amazed with the progress Dream has made in Montrose. The 200-acre community on the south side of High River escaped major damage during the floods in 2013, and life here is back to its usual, laid back norm that’s as placid as the 16-acre pond that wraps around the Montrose. Townhomes, move-up homes and estate homes are available from Homes by Dream, Lifestyle Home and DS Homes.

EvansRidge was Dream’s first community in North Calgary. It is one of the newest established communities in the city with tons of amenities already existing in and around it.

There are a wide variety of home choices, from starter homes and condos to executive ridge lots, but it is almost built-out with only limited opportunities for new home ownership left.

Homes by Dream’s award-winning Arrival Collection is one of these last opportunities to own a new home in this community, and there are only nine of the 19 homes remaining of these special move-in ready homes. The Arrival Collection has succeeded in bringing a totally new perspective on the EvansRidge streetscape that Dream is ultimately aiming for in all its communities. Prices start from $659,000.

Waiting in the wings are the new communities of Providence in southwest Calgary, and Glacier Ridge, which can be seen as the sequel to EvansRidge in the northwest.

The Providence area may be Dream’s most ambitious development in Calgary and is the only remaining large tract of undeveloped land in the southwest. Dream Development owns close to 1,700 acres of land in Providence, much of which is adjacent to the $5.0 billion Ring Road currently being developed by the Province of Alberta.

Upon approval, Providence (which Armstrong says will likely be renamed later) will accommodate various uses including retail, commercial, office and mixed-use neighbourhoods that will offer a range of single and multi-family dwellings.

Glacier Ridge is the first 100-acre neighbourhood located within the boundaries of an Area Structure Plan that is being prepared by the City of Calgary. This neighbourhood is part of Dream’s 480-acre land holdings north of 144th Avenue and west of 24th Street N.W.

“What we are trying to achieve are multigenerational, multiracial, multidenominational communities. We believe in building better communities by staying true to our values: integrity, respect, collaboration, social responsibility, and transparency,” Armstrong says.

“All of our communities are built to be environmentally sustainable, family-friendly, and walkable with easy access to schools, services, recreation, and transit. Dream offers a diverse array of family communities across Calgary.” 

 

FAST FACTS: 

Developer: Dream

Current Communities: 

Vista Crossing in Crossfield 

(http://www.vistacrossing.ca)

Montrose in High River 

(http://www.escapethecity.ca)

Evansridge in northwest Calgary 

(http://www.lifeontheridge.ca)

Future Communities:

Providence, southwest Calgary

Glacier Ridge, northwest Calgary

Web: For more information, visit www.dream.ca

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