Phase two of the Holland Creek housing development is now under way.
The project plans to add 610 units of housing to Ladysmith over the next two decades. Phase one was completed by spring 2019, and phase two launched in late May 2019.
Phase two will add 38 single family homes to the 26 that were built in phase one. Prices of units vary based on size, location, and materials used in construction. The next phases of development will be planned in conjunction with market demand.
Work is being carried out by EDJ projects, a seasoned construction company headed by Jim Dickinson. As development continues, Dickinson says the company is being mindful of the environment, and working with industry professionals to ensure work is carried out to respect and improve the existing environment.
“We’ve gone to great lengths to clean up and pick up the tributary that was diffusing and running all over the ground down Dogwood,” Dickinson said. “We’re not hurting the dirt and we’re not squishing the fish.”
About 43 percent of the Holland Creek development has been designated as green space. On average, most housing developments dedicate around 5 percent of land to green space.
“We took a look at the area we have, and what fits with Ladysmith. It’s all about fitting with the community. Walking trails, paths that connect up to Heart Lake, and Stocking Lake that come through our have been a real priority with us,” Dickinson said.
Stz’uminus First Nation is a 50 percent partner in the development. The focus on environmental stewardship was a key aspect of Stz’uminus involvement.
“We didn’t want to be somebody that came in as a developer to clear cut the whole thing,” Stz’uminus Chief John Elliot said. “We wanted to make sure there was a lot of green space, having 30 percent or more of it as green space was important to us because there’s a lot of waterways there. I think it’s a good way to build a community.”
The land was originally a wood lot owned by Stz’uminus. Stz’uminus released land to the provincial government years ago to be used for the expansion of Ladysmith. When the land became available for sale, Stz’uminus purchased the land and embarked on the process of developing the site.
“It’s a big opportunity for us, it’s a big role in housing development in Ladysmith. For the next 20 years, it’s an opportunity to build hundreds of homes, so we’re just happy to be investing into a project that can help not only create homes for the local area, but it helps create taxation for the Town, and there’s the opportunity of employment there too. It’s been a positive project for us,” Chief Elliot said.
As work continues on the development, people from outside the community are taking notice of Holland Creek, and considering Ladysmith as a place to call home. Dickinson said lots have already been purchased by families from Alberta and the North West Territories.
“Come out and take a look,” Dickinson said. “People have to come and take a look at Ladysmith. We’re a 10 minute walk to the bakery, and it’s up-hill both ways… it’s a nice community to work in, and we want to keep that community feel.”