CastleRock on Lake Windermere 4254 Castlestone Boulevard Invermere a master planned community on 306 acres by CastleRock Estates Development Corp

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Year-round recreation on offer at CastleRock

Michael Bernard
The Vancouver Sun

CastleRock on Lake Windermere

Project Address: 4254 Castlestone Blvd., Invermere

Project Scope:  A master-planned community of fully serviced lots and homes on 306 acres overlooking Lake Windermere in the Columbia Valley in B.C.’s East Kootenay

Prices: Prices for lots, averaging one-quarter acre, from $79,000. Lot and home built by CastleRock starting from $550,000

Developer: CastleRock Estates Development Corp.

Sales Centre:  4254 Castlestone Blvd., Invermere

Centre hours: 11 a.m. — 5 p.m., daily

Sales phone: 250-342-3313


To the average Vancouverite, the town of Invermere may conjure scenes of waist-deep powder skiing on nearby Panorama Mountain, but many Albertans have long known that the Columbia Valley community offers much more than a winter paradise.

For decades, Albertans — especially people from Calgary just a three-hour drive away — have made Invermere their year-round playground. They’re well aware that the little town of 3,300 nestled between the Purcell and Rocky Mountain ranges, is on “the warm side” of the Rockies. Temperatures average around minus 10 degrees in January,  balmy by Calgary standards, to about 15 degrees in July and August.

Locals boast that one can go skiing on a spring morning, come down the mountain and change to go golfing on the links or boating on the warm waters of the relatively shallow (4.5 metre average depth) Lake Windermere in the afternoon.

Another short drive away and you can finish your day by slipping into the soothing heated waters at nearby Radium or Fairmont Hot Springs.

Now the developers of CastleRock on Lake Windermere say they are beginning to see some interest from Metro Vancouverites impressed by prices that run a fraction of what they face on the West Coast.

“We are starting to see more people from the Vancouver area come through looking,” says Mark Himmelspach, the CEO of the company developing the master-planned community located just five minutes from the centre of town.

“As Kelowna prices rise, there has been more interest in this area, particularly from retirees. And compared to prices in Vancouver, prices here are very, very low.”

CastleRock holds more than 3,600 acres, but is currently developing 306 acres with an authorized build-out of about 1,000 homes, said Himmelspach. About 25 per cent of the 306 acres is dedicated to green space. Fully serviced lot prices start at $79,000 for a .17-acre lot up to about $299,000 for a .25 acre with views of Lake Windmere. Building costs run a little higher than city prices, said Himmelspach, running between $250 and $325 a square foot, depending on the quality of finishing.

CastleRock has built a number of spec homes to showcase its product; over 200 homes and lots have been sold. Its show home is located at 2631 Taynton Trail. It also works with company Goldie Creek to offer custom homebuilding services. Buyers can also bring in their own contractor to build their home.

CastleRock has architectural guidelines in place, favouring a “Mountain Alpine” design with ample use of timber and rock. The developer has also worked on creating trails through the development and has joined a group of other builders in proposing a 15-kilometre biking trail linking Invermere with Radium to the north.

The town of Invermere boasts 63 stores, including five grocery stores and a Hudson’s Bay outlet. While its airport handles only smaller planes, the town is about 90 minutes drive from the Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook, which is served by Air Canada and Pacific Coastal Airlines and about three hours to Calgary International Airport. Drive time via Highway 1 from Vancouver runs about 8.5 hours.

Besides skiing and golf, the Columbia Valley also offers hiking and mountain biking, gliding, climbing and camping among other recreation. During the winter, Invermere boasts it has the longest continuous skating rink in the world, a 30-kilometre regularly plowed skating path encircling Lake Windermere. Beside it is a similar path dedicated to cross-country skiing.

The diversity of recreation is what drew Scott and Flo Redelback of Calgary and their two teenaged daughters to purchase a vacation home in CastleRock a few years ago.

“It was in the heart of a natural setting but close to the town,” said Scott, explaining where they built their current 1,400-square-foot bungalow. The family did consider the Okanagan, about seven hours by car from Calgary, but realized that it would be a stretch time wise.

“Because we are pretty busy right now with the kids with their sports and dance we needed something that was close in proximity to Calgary,” said the telecommunications executive. “The fact that we can come out on a Friday mid-afternoon and be out here for dinner and have a barbecue was ideal.”

Canmore was much closer to their Calgary home, they said, but a similar house there they figured would run twice the cost of one at CastleRock. Thanks to the current slump in the Calgary oil industry, they were able to get a good deal on a second lot on which they plan to build a permanent retirement home in three to five years. Their next home will probably have five bedrooms, allowing for their daughters and grandchildren to join them for vacations.

© 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.

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