Next year, 23-year-old Jayden Sittler will transfer from his post-secondary program at Red Deer College to the University of Calgary in pursuit of a psychology degree. His girlfriend of two years, Natasha Ivanov, is already at U of C on the road to a degree in social work.
The couple will pool resources once Sittler moves to Calgary in the fall, but the thought of paying rent seemed wasteful, not only to him, but to his parents.
“Instead of putting money towards rent on a place near the university, which would be north of $2,500 a month, we thought it might be smarter to gain some equity and put our money towards something we could own one day,” says Sittler, a former goalie for the Spokane Chiefs in the Western Hockey League.
His parents and Ivanov’s parents are assisting with a down payment for a home in Wilshire at West District, a 34-unit townhome development by Truman Homes, also the developer of the master-planned West District community in the West Springs area.
Once they got the green light to start looking, Ivanov says they nearly purchased a place in University District but thought perhaps they hadn’t looked around enough, and visited the West District presentation centre at 762 85th St. S.W.
“We went to check it out and compare. As soon as we saw the show suite, we realized right away it was a good option,” Ivanov says.
They weren’t just looking for a nice place to live, they were looking for good resale value. Of the nine floor plans offered at Wilshire, they chose Townhome No. 1, a three-bedroom, 1,762 square-foot model with a double attached garage. A very large space for first-time home buyers.
“We’re thinking of the future and the value later on. We think a three-bedroom townhome will be sought after, and we want to maximize what we put into it,” Ivanov says. “Once the ring road is completed, there will be even more value.”
Truman hasn’t completed show homes for Wilshire yet, but the 500-square-foot model in the presentation centre was enough for the couple and their “financiers” to gauge the quality of materials and design.
Ivanov and Sittler were one of the very first buyers at Wilshire, taking advantage of pre-construction, early bird pricing, allowing them to afford a few upgrades like a fireplace.
Ivanov says they tested the drive to U of C, making it there in 14 minutes.
“It’s a good location. It’s going to be a new community but everything around us is already developed and there lots of amenities,” Ivanov says.
Sittler plays rec hockey these days and is looking forward to the completion of the Central Park, part of the ambitious plans for the 34-hectare (84 acre) infill development at Old Banff Coach Road and 85th St. S.W.
“It’s a huge recreational park. It’s sweet. It’s supposed to have skating in the winter,” says Sittler with a smile.
Wilshire is the second Truman-built project to launch in West District behind Gateway, an eight-storey residential building with condos, brownstones and penthouses.
Every unit has a large footprint; from 1,762 square-feet to 1,966 square-feet of space. There are nine published floor plans and many interior options.
Truman vice-president Oliver Trutina says each home is truly customizable.
“You can do almost anything between the four walls, from top to bottom. You can put in a central galley kitchen with a huge island that fits six. You can have the dining room at the front or the back of the unit. Fireplaces and wet bars — you can mix and match those depending on your lifestyle. Each unit was built without structural impediments, so it’s like a shell. You can use our plans or we can help you design your home,” he says.
Show homes won’t be ready for another six to eight months. Until then, early bird pricing at Wilshire starts at $475,900 plus GST.
“People who buy at this price will have equity in their home even before they move in,” Trutina says.
There’s not just a demand for space. Trutina believes there’s a hunger for larger townhomes, especially on that side of the city, as evidenced by the first day of sales in which six units sold in Wilshire.
The project will be on the east side of West District close to Broadcast Avenue, the future main street and commercial centre.
The Central Park with an amenity building, reflecting ponds and wetland area is a public space that Trutina hopes will become an iconic symbol of Calgary, just like the Peace Bridge.