I get this question all the time. More people are recognizing the appeal of older, core neighbourhoods like Riversdale and they are eager to know more. A key feature is Riversdale's proximity to the River and Downtown, because this automatically enables vibrant, urban lifestyles of all kinds. What I find exciting is the range of options cropping up for people interested in the neighbourhood and seeking a new home. After all, renovating isn’t for everyone. Trust us. We’ve been there. Below is the list of our team's 6 favorite housing projects right now.
1 - The Banks of Riversdale
At the heart of River Landing Phase 2, you’ll find The Banks—the city's first true mixed-use development of this scale. With 160 residential condos, live/work units, and commercial condos, The Banks will definitely grow the already bustling activity around the Farmer’s Market. Exceptional pre-sales reported by realtors Kindra Sowden and Lacy Watson mean Saskatonians have fallen in love with The Banks and are embracing the idea of urban living. Besides, who doesn’t want the Remai Modern Art just beyond their doorstep?
2 - Element Urban Village
If you want access to the dynamic offerings of River Landing but the pace of a residential neighbourhood, Element Urban Village offers the perfect solution located just a two blocks away from The Banks. Shift Development’s eighth project in Riversdale, Element Urban Village is perched on the edge of our city’s greatest asset—the beautiful Saskatchewan River. Victoria Park, MVA trails, and river access are on the doorstep of this community, while a short walk immerses you in the the bustling restaurants and shops along 20th Street. Starting at $599k, Phase I includes high quality finishes, your own double garage, and fantastic river views. If this isn’t in your budget, don’t worry. The 11 well-designed units in Phase II start at $300k and will break ground in spring 2016. To satisfy your curiosity in either, get ready to visit the Phase I Show Suite when we unveil it in early March, 2016. Want an invite to the launch party? Let us know here!
(PS—we throw great parties….)
3 - Wolf Willow CoHousing
While Shift Development loves to push the envelope on proving new ideas for urban living, Wolf Willow was two steps ahead of us when they launched Saskatoon’s first cohousing development in 2011. The 21 condos are designed around 4,400 square feet of common space, which includes a sauna, workshop and guest rooms. The owners we know love this community and its location on 17th Street West. If you want in, units are sold by the condo association. And if cohousing is a new concept for you, their website includes some interesting details.
4 - Radiance CoHousing
Perhaps inspired by Wolf Willow, this cohousing project targeting Passivhaus certification is a more modestly sized collaboration of future residents, which has grown organically over the last few years. Located on Avenue L across from Optimist Park, it is poised to break ground this spring. It offers 8 townhouse units along with a shared community house, garden area and enclosed parking. As of today, all units at Radiance are spoken for, but the group is building a waiting list for interested parties in case one of the units comes available between now and completion. Those with a keen eye for environmental sustainability will be inspired by this project!
5 - The EDGE
The EDGE’s colourful, modern townhouses will appeal to those interested in getting into Riversdale without signing a mortgage! This project was completed in 2014 and offers 16 townhouses for rent. Similar to Shift's last housing project, Mosaic, the units feature secure parking and an enclosed courtyard that makes it easy to get to know your neighbours. Only half a block from the thriving action on 20th Street West, residents here soon become regulars of the amazing food & café scene in Riversdale!
6 - Optimist View
One of the newest projects on the scene, Optimist View is next to Radiance Cohousing and across from Optimist Park, offering 35 townhomes and carriage houses that should be one of the most affordable options for home buyers this year. The project marketing hasn't launched yet, but the developer says they're on track to break ground this spring. Call 306-341-0470 for details.
So, as you can see, this tour through Riversdale showcases the range of new housing options that have been added to the neighbourhood. These projects have gone up while also improving environmental sustainability and resilience, and without a large loss of old housing stock. Consider this: my math says that 269 homes are being added, with a slight loss of approximately 9 older homes.
Again and again, I continue to witness Riversdale reinvent itself in interesting ways, and these housing projects are proving the neighbourhood's ability to provide highly diverse forms of housing. It's my hope that they will also help retain the diverse culture that's already here, while opening the door for new residents to join in. Whether you're young, old or even a Stormtrooper, I believe there's likely a future home here with your name on it. See you in Riversdale!