The sod was turned Friday for the second phase of Moosomin’s Pipestone Villas, a housing development between Henry Street and Wright Road on the south side of Moosomin.
The second phase will be nearly identical to the first, adding another 24 units in to the development.
The plan for the site includes a total of three buildings with a total of 72 units, with the second and third phases oriented north-south, and the three buildings forming a u-shape around the central courtyard and parking.
While the second phase is just getting under way, some units in the third phase have already been reserved, although units in that phase are not expected to be available until 2017.
Of the 24 units in the second phase, 18 have already been presold and six remain available.
Pipestone Villas consists of rental units in which tenants have an equity investment. Tenants in Phase II will put in $65,000 of equity for each unit, and will have their equity returned when they leave the building. They receive interest on their equity in the form of a rental discount.
So far, about half of the people looking at units in the second phase are from Moosomin, and the rest are from a range of communities in the surrounding area.
Construction costs have increased significantly in the few years since the first phase was completed, but one advantage for Pipestone Villas is that all of the land for all three phases was acquired at the outset, which means there are no additional costs for securing the land for the second phase.
On Wednesday, Moosomin Town Council approved a building permit for Phase II, with an estimated value of $6,500,000.
With construction starting right away, people should be moving into phase II by the late summer or early fall of 2015.
Pipestone Villas was initiated by Bridge Road Developments, but is owned by local investors.
The development started with a presentation by Bridge Road at a Moosomin Chamber of Commerce meeting. By the end of the meeting, potential investors were speaking with Bridge Road.
The Bridge Road model seems to be working, as 21 similar housing developments are operating or under development across Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Shareholders and residents of the existing Pipestone Villas came to see the sod turning.
Moosomin MLA Don Toth and Mayor Larry Tomlinson gave speeches, and discussed the importance of the Villas in the continued growth of the town.
“We’re proud to have something like this go ahead, and we’re glad that we’ve found people who believe in what’s happening here, and investing in it. This is great for the town, and we’ve got a lot of construction happening. Going forward, there’s going to be a lot more,” Tomlinson said in his speech.
Toth said the success of the Villas in Moosomin, Whitewood, and Kipling shows the growth Southeast Saskatchewan is seeing.
“One of the big concerns people had was ‘What about our housing? If we buy into the condos, what happens to our houses?’ Well I’ve found nobody has had any problems selling their homes—our communities are growing.”
Bridge Road Construction’s Travis Penner said the hope for the Villas was to foster the idea of community.
“The model of Bridge Road is to turn this into a community. The building is only half of that equation, the community is what happens after the building is finished,” he told the shareholders gathered at the sod turning.
Jan Rustebakke is one of the shareholders in the new building. She says seeing the official start of the construction is exciting.
“We are looking forward to moving in, so we’re glad to see it get started,” she said at the sod turning. “We had no intention of coming in until we came to the open house last November and now we’re really looking forward to getting in the building.”