Lake Placid Developments/Newland Construction

If you want something done right, the best way to ensure it is to do it yourself, and that’s the principle that has guided Calgary’s Lake Placid Developments on its second major project. The firm, which made a name for itself with its first project – Centuria Urban Village in Kelowna, British Columbia – decided to take matters into its own hands when it began work on The Park in Calgary. As President of the newly created Newland Construction Kevin Brookes explains, the firm’s desire to produce even higher construction standards on the residential tower inspired and led it to form Newland Construction Limited to function as general contractor. 

By creating its own general contractor, Brookes says Lake Placid has been able to avoid the hidden costs that sometimes come with hiring an outside contractor. “That has been our experience and we wanted to create a construction company that totally aligns investor, developer and construction objectives, whilst also ensuring that the 18-storey, 156-unit project is built to the highest standards of quality,” he says. “It’s a win-win. We have processes in place where we’re totally open and transparent and the cost is the cost, and that’s it -nothing else. It’s kind of refreshing, in a way.”  

This will carry forwards on subsequent projects. Newland was created for exactly that purpose; to provide a clear, transparent and credible approach to pricing, costing and delivering the final product. Lenders, investors, and developers alike, want to take the guess work and clandestineness out of the final cost of a project, and Newland has the strength and capability of achieving those goals. Honest and open management of all parts of the process, and keeping the owner involved and apprised in that process, will allow the parties to achieve their goals.

With the headaches of dealing with an outside contractor avoided, Lake Placid can devote its full attention to making The Park one of the most desirable new locations in Calgary. Brookes says the company is committed to building a project that not only exceeds the needs of the market, but is also one that the developers would be proud and happy to have their own families live in, as well. 

Desirable Location

The Park sits in Calgary’s Beltline district, between Central Memorial Park and Haultain School Park. Brookes says the district has been host to some significant redevelopment efforts in recent years, making it a highly sought-after neighbourhood for residents. The city has spent millions revitalizing Central Memorial Park and building a pedestrian-friendly greenway on 13th Avenue directly in front of the project, which adds up to some breathtaking sights from The Park. “It’s absolutely the best site in the Beltline here in Calgary,” Brookes says. “The views are simply amazing.”

The project’s 156 units range from townhomes to condominiums to penthouse suites, with 37 unique floor plans from 500 to more than 1,700 square feet. The interiors include floor-to-ceiling windows, balconies and terraces large enough for entertaining. Among the amenities for owners are an outdoor patio, a fully equipped fitness center and a recreation room. 

Bigger and Better

Brookes says Lake Placid wants to make sure The Park exceeds the standards set by the firm’s first project, Centuria Urban Village. The mixed-use project in Kelowna combined 151 units of high-end residential with 50,000 square feet of retail, with views of the surrounding lake and mountains. The project earned Lake Placid two major awards in 2009 from the Canadian Home Builders Association, which gave the project a silver award for “Excellence in Creating a Hi-Rise Multi-family Development” and the grand prize for “Residential Development of the Year.” 

“You’re always trying to do better on the next building, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” Brookes says. 

He adds that his approach to residential projects always has been to consider whether or not he would want his parents living in the spaces he develops. To that end, Lake Placid is ensuring that it works only with top-flight subcontractors. “We’re not interested in the lowest price,” Brookes says. “It all comes back to you get what you pay for.”

Good Response

Crews are in the process of installing the glass curtainwall and beginning masonry work on the building’s podium, according to Brookes. The Park is expected to be completed in 2015, with residents moving in shortly after. Brookes says part of Lake Placid’s commitment to quality on The Park meant that the firm would not allow partial occupancy. “I won’t have our purchasers living in a building site,” he says. 

Even though residents won’t be able to move in for more than a year, Brookes says the response from the market to The Park has been overwhelmingly positive so far. A significant portion of the building’s units already have been purchased, meaning The Park should be a stellar addition to Lake Placid’s portfolio as well as to the Calgary skyline. “Everyone is delighted with the location and the project, as well,” Brookes says.  

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