By Alison Taylor
Dozens of Whistlerites have signed a list to buy homes at the new Rainbow subdivision, just one week after the Whistler Housing Authority created a waitlist for the still-to-be-approved project.
Thirty-seven applicants have signed up to buy duplexes and 33 separate applicants have put their names on the list for single-family homes.
And the WHA is still counting.
“The interest has been very strong,” said WHA general manager Marla Zucht.
Though the project does not yet have final approvals from the municipality, the WHA created a waitlist for Rainbow separate from its master list in part to test the interest in the project.
“It’s a way to start to gauge what the interest is out there in the community for this location…” said Zucht. “It will just help with our ongoing planning.”
WHA Board Chair Gord McKeever stressed this week that the waitlist is an expression of interest and non-binding. The financial package for Rainbow has not yet been determined. The WHA board has considered a possible financing package but has asked the developer to provide more information on the deal.
Rainbow’s revamped website details preliminary financing packages based on a cost of $200 per square foot for the homes. There is the $110,000 lot price on top of that as well as the $13,000 in works and services charges.
“We’re not going to endorse what we feel is an undue risk on the purchaser,” said McKeever. “That’s not in the community’s best interests at all. But that having been said, it has to be feasible for the developer as well.”
Though the project sits at third reading, developer Rod Nadeau is confident they will meet all the necessary requirements to get final approval in the spring for the large housing project. The first phase will include 25 single-family homes and 20 duplexes.
His confidence is evidenced by the sheer volume of work underway on the site between Alpine Meadows and Emerald Estates.
Local excavation crews — Corona, Whistler Excavation, Northlands Excavating and Sabre — have been hard at work preparing roads and home sites.
At the end of January, with the sun beating down on the Rainbow lands, the site is slowly starting to take the shape of a subdivision, despite the blanket of snow. The rough outline of large portions of the subdivision roads is visible, along with several excavated lots.
Still, it’s an ambitious schedule.
In order to have the first phase of the project complete with people living in their homes by the end of 2007, Rainbow developers intend to have building on the lots taking place in concert with the site servicing. While unusual, it’s a necessary step to meet their time targets.