"The building has proven itself," said Barry Greenberg who works with his wife, realtor Monica Newman, and another realtor, Laura Ross.
"It's selling at a phenomenal rate," said Greenberg, who is convinced that the owners do have the right product for the market judging by consumer response.
The site is a major factor, say the agents. "When the sun sets at night, the whole property takes on a magical quality," he said.
"It's warm and spectacular at the same time," added Newman. "The sounds of nature, the light on the water, just the smell of spring at this time of year, there's a subtle energy that you don't find in the city," she said.
Costs are also part of the equation. "Taxes are about half of Winnipeg," said Greenberg.
"To find this comparable site would cost millions of dollars. I think the biggest appeal is that you can have something so magnificent within people's reach: 109 ($109,000) to 155 ($155,000) is basically affordable... in a sprinkled, concrete and steel building, almost unheard of."
Greenberg said where homeowners in Winnipeg are looking at about $3,000 per year in taxes, those buying into the development called River Creek Estates will pay about $1,400 in taxes. The five-building development is situated in the Rural Municipality of St. Clements, which sets its own mill rate.
Earmarked for a 14-acre site nestled at the juncture of the Red River and Gunn's Creek, the buildings will face both the Red River and Gunn's Creek. The first building, which the developers hope to begin putting up Sept. 1 of this year, is expected to be completed in June of 2004. This building will face west or toward the Red River as will the second five-storey building.
Buildings three, four and five will all face toward Gunn's Creek, complete with three boat docks that can accommodate six boats.
Once the site is fully developed, the condos will have an entrance road off Henderson Highway, but for now, anyone interested in talking about the development or seeing the site can travel over the Lockport Bridge off Main Street and visit the display home and headquarters adjacent to Gaffers Restaurant. It's open Tuesday, 1 to 4 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m.; Saturday 1 to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Greenberg may be reached at 784-3555.
The completed site will also feature a central park called Gunn's Creek Park in the development.
Greenberg said 40 per cent of the suites in building one were presold by the first week of July, and he expected to have 50 per cent sold before the end of the month. He said developers typically pre-sell some of the units to get a feel for the interest the condos will generate among buyers.
Six different floor plans are available, with the suites running from 912 square feet to 1,275 square feet.
The 912-square-foot unit sells for $109,000, while a 1,075-square-foot unit sells for $139,900 on the second floor of the first building. Buyers will pay slightly more for the same size units on higher floors.
The condo fees range from $145.92 for a 912-square-foot unit to $204 for a 1,275-square-foot unit and include all utilities, management fees, maintenance and ground fees.
One of the six models is a one-bedroom suite, while the other five feature two bedrooms each and two baths. Balconies and laundry facilities are built in to each of the models.
Located in what is admittedly a recreational area, Greenberg said the development is also suited to working couples. "If you go to work in a normal job, it's the perfect thing to come home to, it's quiet and tranquil."
Newman said a stainless steel stove, fridge and dishwasher are included in the buying price of each unit and owners will have parking in their indoor heated parking lots. There's outdoor parking for visitors, but owners can purchase an additional stall outdoors for their unit's use.
"Buyers will also get $1,000 towards decorating costs or upgrades," she said.
The building has an acrylic and brick exterior and people say it reminds them of Chapters (the booksellers)," Newman said.
As far as location, Newman said, "Some people living in Winnipeg might think Lockport is living in the country, but if people live in Pine Falls, they might think Lockport is moving into town," she said, noting that most buyers are looking for lower taxes and the peace and quiet that the development offers.
The development is owned by a Lockport family of siblings called Truthwaite.
Building two, when completed, will contain an exercise room and resident manager, while building four when built will feature a common activity room. There is also parking space on site for recreational vehicles.