Colourful modern homes at Spirit Bay

HOMEFINDER: A respectful approach to waterfront living

Recent one-day sales boom highlights Spirit Bay's appeal

Spirit Bay is the culmination of an innovative partnership between the Scia’new First Nation and the Trust for Sustainable Development that puts a premium on respecting the property upon which the project is being built.

The development speaks volumes about the level of co-operation between the partners, said Scia’new Chief Russ Chipps. “When the land heals, the community heals with it,” he added.

Trust founder David Butterfield said the goal from the beginning has been to work together to build something better than what was there before.

“A critical part of the project is to respect the integrity of the property,” he noted.

Spirit Bay encompasses amazing water views on 400 wooded hectares of south-facing shore property adjacent to the Beecher Bay Marina in Metchosin. When completed, the town will include about 400 to 500 homes on 40 hectares with a commercial town centre, playing fields and a world-class spa.

“The Salish Seas Wellness Resort and Waterfront Spa will have rooms and separate cabins, as well as ‘glamping’ opportunities and luxury tenting,” said Andrew Reeve, director of communications for the Trust.

Phase one of Spirit Bay consists of 50 homes ranging from 650 square feet on smaller lots to 1,800-sq.-ft. structures on larger waterfront lots, with prices running from $340,000 to $1 million-plus. Eight lots are under construction in phase one and 23 have been sold to date. Purchasers can choose from one of eight “village home” designs, which they can customize or personalize, Reeve explained. Buyers can also use their own builder to create a home the way they want, providing it remains within the village design aesthetic guidelines.

“We are committed to using vibrant colours in a style everyone associates with an east coast fishing village,” Reeve said. “Because we are a trust, we’ve taken the approach that the existing landscape defines our design.”

The $500-million Spirit Bay development on East Sooke Road recently unveiled phase two, Sunset Point, which features 14 lots with pristine waterfront views and West Coast nature at its finest, Reeves added. The properties went on the market June 27 and seven lots valued at $4 million sold in just one day, underlining the project’s unique qualities, Butterfield added.

The project received a $400,000 Clean Air First nations Clean Energy Business Fund grant  from the provincial government in 2015 to develop ocean thermal technology that will greatly reduce the cost of heating and cooling in Spirit Bay, Reeve noted.

Visit http://www.spiritbay.ca for more information or call 250-478-7789.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

Q: WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS THESE DAYS FOR WATERFRONT LIVING IN AND AROUND THE WEST SHORE?

As a coastal community, Greater Victoria has tons of waterfront, some of it saltwater and some lakefront. In real estate terms, however, there’s a big difference – especially price – between waterfront and water view.

Even on the West Shore, where three of five municipalities touch the ocean and the other two (Langford and Highlands) have lakes in their midst, you’ll pay a premium for having a home that backs onto the shoreline.

View Royal has perhaps the highest percentage of its boundaries at the water’s edge. The older section of the town faces Esquimalt Harbour and all of its minor bays such as Thetis Cove. Much of Colwood’s shoreline is taken up by Esquimalt Lagoon, but a handful of homes are very close walking distance to the ocean.

Same for Metchosin, which has the longest coastline but very few homes right on the beach. Many of Langford’s lakefront homes have a cottage country feel, which has led many homeowners to stay in them for decades.

So while the actual waterfront homes are few and far between, there’s plenty of water view living to be had here.

GREATER VICTORIA MARKET UPDATE » MONTH TO DATE JUNE 27/16 COURTESY VICTORIA REAL ESTATE BOARD

» 977 / 910 — NET UNCONDITIONAL SALES / TOTAL, JUNE 2015

» 1,137 / 1,346 –NEW LISTINGS / TOTAL, JUNE 2015

» 2,323 / 4,003 — ACTIVE RESIDENTIAL LISTINGS / TOTAL, JUNE 2015

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