Financial details have not been disclosed, but a portion of the purchase does involve Anthem assuming Walton’s outstanding debts to the project’s financiers.
Hawks Ridge at Big Lake includes 317 serviced lots in the first two stages which were developed by Walton. The remaining 33 acres of land in Hawks Ridge, to be developed by Anthem United, will consist of approximately 205 detached and duplex residences.
“Anthem is acquiring the assets of Walton Big Lake, primarily being the remaining raw land and serviced lot inventory, in exchange for assuming the indebtedness outstanding to the project lenders. Anthem will be the developer for the remainder of the Hawks Ridge community along 215th Street, including completion of the existing phases and development of future phases,” said Craig Dickie, executive vice-president of land development for Anthem United.
“This was a strategic transaction for Anthem to comprehensively develop the Big Lake area in conjunction with our other communities of Trumpeter and Kinglet Gardens. Anthem will continue with the vision to create a unique community, thoughtfully integrated into the natural landscape overlooking Lois Hole Provincial Park.
“Construction of the remaining phases is anticipated over the next few years and will provide a variety of housing choices with many homesites backing onto an environmental reserve. Hawks Ridge will be a place where active families can enjoy the outdoors with pathways, mature trees and an abundance of open space.”
Anthem major player at Big Lake
With the addition of Hawks Ridge to the other communities of Trumpeter and Kinglet Gardens, Anthem United will be developing a total of 613 acres in the Big Lake area. It contains 1,036 existing homes, with 1,943 more homes planned for the future.
Anthem United currently manages the development of almost 1,100 acres in Edmonton in six active and three upcoming communities including:
* Glenridding Ravine/Glenridding Heights: 113 acres, 1,410 single-family homes at full build-out;
* Dansereau Meadows: 157 acres, 855 homes;
* McConachie Heights: 77.5 acres, 540 homes;
* Trumpeter by Big Lake: 300 acres, 1,287 homes;
* Walker Summit: 158 acres, 990 homes;
* Kinglet by Big Lake: 280 acres, 1,197 homes;
* and Glenridding/Chapelle: 80 acres, 145 homes.
Dickie said the first stage of development in Hawks Ridge began in about 2012.
“The community itself is just off 215th Street in the northwest portion of Edmonton, and Walton developed the first two stages of that development. They put in the infrastructure. They upgraded 215th Street and opened up the community and have been selling homes there for several years,” he said.
“There was another stage that was proposed, or currently proposed, that has not been built yet, and the remaining raw land.
“Anthem will be stepping in as the developer and we’ll be finishing up any existing maintenance obligations or any remaining infrastructure to be built to complete those first two stages that were originally built by Walton. And we’ll then be developing out the remaining stages which could be two, possibly in three stages.”
Strategic property acquisition
From Anthem’s point of view, the acquisition is a strategic property in that area of the city, given the existing communities already under development by the company in Trumpeter and Kinglet Gardens.
“Trumpeter by Big Lake is a master-planned community that’s kind of kitty corner from Hawks Ridge. So it’s northeast of Hawks Ridge. Anthem United has been developing there for a number of years,” said Dylan Hunchak, the vice-president of land development for Anthem United.
“It’s a community where we have multiple product types. We have townhomes, condos, street towns, lane product, traditional front drive. We’re bringing on different amenities there such as mixed-use, introducing commercial on the main floor and residential on the upper storeys.”
He said there are about five to seven years of development remaining on that land. “It’s over halfway built-out.”
Just south of Hawks Ridge, Anthem United also owns Kinglet by Big Lake.
“That is a neighbourhood that we’ve just finished a visioning process on and we’ve brought on our first phase this year. Show homes will commence construction over the winter months and opening in the spring of 2020. We have two parcels there, approximately 120 acres and 160 acres. So, that’s a long-term play for us as well. Ten years-plus.
“We understand the area. We understand the customer, the infrastructure. . . . It’s just a natural fit for us to gravitate toward Hawks Ridge.”
Hunchak said Anthem anticipates bringing on its first phase at Hawks Ridge during 2020.