story by Patricia Merrick | photography by Jessi Gowan & Kurtis Kristianson
Vista Crossing, an ongoing residential development built by Dream Development in Crossfield, is more than just houses – it’s a community.
Ryan Armstrong, vice president of housing in Western Canada for Dream Development, said the company builds communities across Canada, but Vista Crossing has a unique character and is one of its proudest accomplishments.
“People seem to really get along in Vista and I think that’s honestly the best feature,” he said. “It’s a really strong society. People help each other out, they know each other. Moms are helping each other out, you’re seeing kids playing together, you’re seeing people having barbecues together and it’s really turned into a special place. Not even we thought it would be as special as it is and we’re excited about it.”
Dream Development has built roughly 100 homes in partnership with McKee Homes to form Vista Crossing. It’s a newer community and according to Armstrong, houses were first listed for sale in the fall of 2016.
Vista Crossing offers a variety of houses, including duplexes starting at $265,000, detached homes with large front porches starting at $299,000, homes with double car driveways starting at $399,000, and homes with triple car garages backing onto a pond starting at $460,000. Armstrong said the company is getting ready to launch townhomes as well, which will cost in the low $200,000s.
“We’ve created a haven for people who want more value in real estate – particularly people that are trying to get into the market or people that are trying to get away from some of the busier markets,” he said.
“We wanted to make a community that had a nice country feel and big front porches where you can actually run into your neighbours.”
-Ryan Armstrong, Vice President of housing in Western Canada for Dream Development
The lots were made larger than average and the community includes a park, skating rinks and bike paths.
Armstrong said there are also a variety of events and festivities that occur throughout the year, as well as fitness classes like yoga. A new hockey rink recently opened and another phase of development will kick off this spring.
“It has this really cool vibe and, to be honest, we can’t build the houses fast enough now,” he said. “In Crossfield, you can get all the home you need, plus more, for less.”
Dream Development decided to build in Crossfield because of its agricultural roots and job opportunities in the surrounding area, Armstrong said.
“With Crossfield being literally a railroad town – a town that was formed off a railroad by a Scottish, Ukrainian immigrant family in the early 1900s – people used to build these houses by themselves and they used to actually order them in a kit,” he said. “People used to put these houses together with their bare hands.”
Many homeowners in Vista Crossing are first-time buyers or downsizers, according to Armstrong. He said it’s a great place to raise a family and when your kids become old enough to buy their own home, they can stay in Crossfield because of the affordable rates.
Most people buying homes in Vista Crossing are moving from larger communities like Airdrie, Calgary, Okotoks and Chestermere. Some residents commute to Calgary for work, which is only about a 20- to 25-minute drive, he said.
“We’ve invested in Crossfield for the long term. So we’ll be there – it could be as long as 30 years – and hopefully forever, as long as the opportunity is there.”