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Edmonton Journal

Phase 2 launch breaks sales records

Sixty-five per cent of the Cape on Bowen's Phase 1 has been sold, with only five estates remaining of the original 14. Phase 2 launched in May, with a record-breaking purchase price of $4.38 million for one estate, raising the bar considerably for oceanfront property in the region.

Don Ho, developer and partner at the Cape, said buyers are so enthusiastic because the property is stunning and there is a sustain- able vision at the Cape.

"The estate that sold for $4.38 million is spectacular, with two private beaches and a lot of beautiful areas right by the water, but they are all spectacular," said Ho.

The Neys met with Ho and walked every one of the estates before choosing theirs.

Ho recommended local builders and resour- ces that the Neys rely on. Their home will integrate Douglas fir milled from their own estate in the flooring and trim, not wasting any good lumber.

The Cape has design guidelines and a building scheme with a list of recommended architects. There are environmental protections to prevent clear-cutting the estates, some of which have trees more than 100 years old.

Inland estates are much more affordable at $600,000 to $700,000 for 10 acres within walking distance of the waterfront trail.

"Not everyone wants or can afford waterfront. The inland pricing is set accordingly," said Ho.

The Cape's 618 acres, previously owned by Roger Curtis, was purchased in 2004. For Ho and partner Edwin Lee, the Cape was years in the making: consulting with Bowen Island municipality, conducting environmental impact studies and moving forward at a cautious community-approved rate.

Untouched for 50 years, local residents used the area as their playground for hiking, and some were nervous they would lose public access. Responding to this, the Cape built a one-kilometre waterfront public-use trail complete with bridges and overhanging walkways. Singer-songwriter Shari Ulrich lives on Bowen Island and performed at the launch of the trail last spring.

"The trail is indeed lovely, and I am very appreciative that they provided it, considering there was no formal obligation to do so," said Ulrich.

The Neys expect their dream home to be finished within two years. "It is a dream in evolution. It's worth waiting for," said Rod.