Architecture adds value to masterplanned community
No single word describes the architecture of Wilden homes. The design has a timeless yet innovative quality with Craftsman-style touches and an inviting alpine influence.
Such visionary development did not happen by chance. Building guidelines for the 2,000-acre hillside community have been in place since day one. These guidelines are not intended to over-regulate builders and create cookie-cutter homes. Individuality is encouraged. The guidelines simply add a sense of harmony to the community and help protect homeowner investment.
The largest master-planned community between Vancouver and Calgary, Wilden stretches along the shoreline of Okanagan Lake northeast of downtown Kelowna. Inspired by the beauty of the natural setting, developer Gerhard Blenk envisioned a series of neighbourhoods woven throughout the hillside, separated by natural boundaries.
“Fifteen years ago we recognized the challenges of developing in rugged and environmentally sensitive hillside areas such as Wilden. Since then we’ve worked hand in hand with the City of Kelowna in crafting new building and site servicing regulations that address these unique challenges. These new regulation are now utilized in all hillside developments in the city,” says Russ Foster, vice-president of Blenk Development Corp. and project manager at Wilden. “Our goal was not only to find solutions for building on hillsides. We wanted Wilden to have its own special face and character and achieve a true harmony.”
Driving through Wilden’s long established and sold-out neighbourhoods of Hidden Lake, Ledge View, Long Ridge, Still Pond and Terrace Hill, this authenticity is palpable.
“In comparison, many other neighbourhoods in the Okanagan are a mish-mash of architectural styles because developers compromised their guidelines during the real estate crisis to keep customers happy and not lose sales. But that was short-term thinking. Ultimately, it decreases the value of the homes, because people also want the surrounding community to be beautiful,” says designer Chris Robinson, who has been instrumental in shaping the building guidelines for Wilden.
Even during challenging and fluctuating markets, Blenk held true to his vision and building guidelines, which allow for a wide range of interpretation and customization. In Wilden, you get the feeling every street and every corner has been there for a long time; that the community has grown organically over time.
One of the ways Wilden maintains high standards and consistency is its Select Builders Program. Since day one, Blenk Development has worked exclusively with four quality builders: AuthenTech Homes, Edgecombe Builders, Fawdry Homes and Rykon Construction. Building with vision and integrity has paid off.
Wilden was one of the first real estate projects to experience a significant upswing after the slow market conditions and neighbourhoods that are currently selling—Skylands, Upper Canyon and Lost Creek—are experiencing exceptionally strong sales.
Driving Wilden’s success is the fact that homes have lasting value, neighbourhoods offer true quality of life, and the developer is fully committed to the vision and the community.
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