Sales at Cheakamus Crossing — the neighbourhood that will house Olympic athletes during the 2010 Games — have been moving along swiftly, reported Joe Redmond, president of the Whistler Development 2020 Corporation (WDC).
Of the 221 employee-restricted units, 34 were sold by Wednesday, Oct. 22, and everyone contacted on the Whistler Housing Authority (WHA) waitlist has made a purchase. Redmond expects the majority of employee-restricted homes will be sold by January.
“The biggest problem we have is to maintain the priority list (from the WHA), so we can only do a certain number of contacts a day,” said Redmond, adding that the group is spending about an hour with almost every buyer to explain the complex details of the purchase.
And while the WDC has not determined a pattern in the purchases, Redmond believes people lower on the list are more interested in the largest three and four bedroom townhouses, which range in size from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet.
“Some of them have been on the list for eight years, and their lifestyle may have changed a bit. We have not been able to get a pattern yet, but we think the earlier buyers are buying the larger units,” said Redmond.
The housing mix at Cheakamus Crossing consists of 154 employee-restricted townhomes and 67 employee-restricted condos, as well as 20 market townhomes, 55 rental apartments for WHA and 55 rental units for Hostelling Canada. Six townhomes and 18 apartments are being set aside for seniors through the Mature Action Committee’s (MAC) waitlist.
Redmond said sales of the employee-restricted units — which range in price from $122,000 to $485,000 — do not seem to be affected by the current gloomy economic situation.
“The mortgage rates have not made any dramatic moves, and in fact the Bank of Canada rate has come down,” said Redmond, adding that other Canadian banks have said they may decrease their mortgage rates.
Construction on the neighbourhood, located at the south end of Whistler, near Cheakamus River, is also “bang on schedule,” according to Redmond, and most units will have roofs on by the end of November this year.
The first 60 units will be completed by January, another 60 will be done next summer, and all will be finalized by September 2009 and ready to hand over to the Vancouver Organizing Committee by November 2009.
The units will be held by VANOC until June 2010 and will be ready for occupancy by Whistler residents between September and December 2010.
Redmond said representatives from VANOC and the International Olympic Committee toured the Cheakamus Crossing site on Tuesday and “were pleased with the progress on the site,” specifically the quality and the design of the units.
A public open house of the neighbourhood will also be held this Saturday, Oct. 25, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include a tour of a townhome display unit off Whitewater Drive.
Other employee-restricted homes coming onto the WHA’s waitlist market in the near future include those at Rainbow Neighbourhood and Fitzsimmons Walk.