Collaboration Brings Unique Lot Designs and Product to Winnipeg's Bison Run Community
Winnipeg, MB – A cross-vertical collaboration between Qualico Communities Winnipeg and StreetSide Developments Winnipeg is combining innovative lot design and multi-family product to make the most of land being developed in Winnipeg’s Bison Run community.
Qualico Communities Winnipeg created unique 80-ft.-deep lots to accommodate StreetSide Developments Winnipeg’s back-to-back stacked townhomes, three-storey walk-ups with live/work commercial units at grade, and potentially up/down stacked townhomes as well.
Typically, Qualico Communities Winnipeg creates 100-ft.-deep lane type product blocks to accommodate single-family, duplex, and townhome-type product.
Trevor Grafton, Planning and Design Coordinator, Qualico Communities Winnipeg, said the business unit had been looking at ways to increase subtle density in Qualico communities and build on public streets instead of private ones, with the driver of bringing parcel-type development to the street being Bryan Ward, Vice-President, Qualico Communities Winnipeg.
Working with 80-ft.-deep lots and innovative multi-family product will allow Qualico Communities Winnipeg and StreetSide Developments Winnipeg to do just that.
“We looked at a couple of different projects in our communities for inspiration and had early discussions with Brian Cornelson (Vice-President, StreetSide Developments Winnipeg) on the idea of trying this approach in Bison Run,” Trevor said. “It was important to Qualico Communities Winnipeg to provide as many different housing options as we could in this community.”
Back-to-back stacked townhomes are townhomes stacked back-to-back (rather than up/down) and typically have small ground-floor patios or yards as their outdoor space. They have private entrances on both sides of the building, which tends to more evenly distribute pedestrian activity around a development.
Three-storey walk-ups with live/work commercial units at grade generally have their main entrance facing a public street with the main floor often devoted to office or small retail space. Private access to the upstairs residence is typically from the lane-facing garage at the rear.
Up/down stacked townhomes are also above and below each other, typically with balconies, and are often smaller one- and two-bedroom units.
The back-to-back townhomes incorporate a unique urban patio outside private entrances with many being close to the public sidewalk, which increases a street presence. They are two-storey townhomes that have units facing the street and units facing the lane. As well, the townhome buildings will be finished on all four sides with high-quality materials, offering a more interesting appearance from all angles.
Currently, StreetSide Developments Winnipeg has approval for the back-to-back stacked townhomes, and half of the three-storey walk-ups project has been submitted to the City of Winnipeg for plan approval. The back-to-back townhomes will be located on the west side of Frontier Trail in Bison Run, and the three-floor walk-ups with potential for commercial units on the main floor will be located on the east side of the collector street.
Some of the benefits resulting from using these innovative lots and product include cost savings for the developer and customer, optimized use of the land involved, and more diverse product offering and density in the community.
“Generally, this type of product doesn’t require much backyard space, which allows us to reduce the depth and therefore the cost for the multi-family builder,” said Trevor. “By doing this, the project becomes more affordable for the final purchaser.”
Trevor noted that if the collaboration between the two business units wasn’t happening, Qualico Communities Winnipeg likely would have created more parcel-type development along the main collector. They also would probably have had more single-family homes on the collector street, which would have been less dense and not quite as affordable and would not have provided as many housing options in the community.
While there are many benefits involved in the use of the innovative lots and products for this project, there are also important benefits stemming from the two business units working closely together to complete the work.
David Hill, Senior Development Manager, StreetSide Developments Winnipeg, explained, “At the earlier stages, we can better advise on infrastructure required for multi-family developments and we can refine particular townhome models to suit what Qualico Communities Winnipeg is looking for. It helps to have the developer, the builder, and the city planners on the same page throughout the development and approval process.
Trevor agreed that the collaboration between the two business units offers an opportunity to plan appropriately from both sides of the project.
“The collaboration effort allowed us to discuss servicing points and lot depths prior to submitting our application and installing the services (land drainage, water, sewer) within the right of ways, and by working together we should avoid some revisions of servicing locations later on.”
While the project hasn’t been without its challenges thus far, having open dialogue with city administration and the professionals the business units work with has allowed things to progress without much delay. Work on the project is expected to begin this summer, with completion of Phase 1 of the project anticipated in 2025 (depending on final approvals).
“We look forward to seeing how these different types of dwelling units play out here and continuing to collaborate on product type with StreetSide Developments Winnipeg and other builders,” Trevor said. “We hope to have several other projects under construction along Frontier Trail in the next couple of years.”
You can sign up on StreetSide Winnipeg's website to receive updates about their new townhomes in Bison Run.
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