12 months till first Rainbow houses done 

Concerns about high pricing raised by onlookers, although interest in homes high

click to enlarge Rainbow Connection Local realtor Ann Chiasson (far right) shows off a map of the Rainbow subdivision at the open house on Tuesday night
  • Rainbow Connection Local realtor Ann Chiasson (far right) shows off a map of the Rainbow subdivision at the open house on Tuesday night

The first Rainbow Development housing will be ready as soon as June 2009, and a total of 94 single family homes and duplexes will be done before the Olympics in 2010.

That was the take-home message at Tuesday night’s Rainbow Development meeting, which saw approximately 300 interested buyers and their children pack into Whistler Secondary School to hear from developers, the Whistler Housing Authority (WHA) and the civil engineer about Whistler’s newest neighbourhood.

“I think everyone is quite excited about the process,” said Ann Chiasson from Sea to Sky Premier Properties, the group charged with marketing the units.

“A lot of people are starting to understand that this is not a cookie cutter condominium building.”

And excitement was notable in the crowd — made up of young couples with babies, older couples with children, and singles of all ages — who got a chance to meet the developers, look at design plans, and mingle with potential future neighbours. Most were on the WHA waitlist.

One concern expressed by onlookers, however, was whether the price for the resident-restricted units was too high.

“A few people were disappointed because they can’t afford the $400,000 for the half duplex, but these are half duplexes and single family homes, they are not cookie cutter condos,” stressed Chiasson.

“I think Rainbow is going to be a family subdivision, totally. I don’t think it is going to have a lot of young, single people there because we just do not have the products for them. It will be more couples planning a family or people who already have families.”

Marla Zucht, general manager of the WHA, also said she heard comments Tuesday evening regarding costs.

“I did hear some concern about the pricing for single-family homes, that it was higher than what some had initially expected,” she said, adding that she did not hear similar comments for the duplexes.

“That is an issue we are concerned about as well.”

Zucht said since only the first 13 single-family homes have been designed, the WHA is hoping that the other 63 will be lower in price. And that is a likely possibility, she said, since the first 13 are also the biggest units.

Prices for the 80 duplexes, built by developer Glacier Contracting Ltd., are estimated between high-$300,000 to high-$400,000, and will range in size from 1,300 square feet to 1,900 square feet.

Estimates for the first 13 single-family homes, by Vision Pacific Contracting Ltd., range from $525,000 to $625,000, although the interior design has not been completed. These units will be 1,500 to 2,200 square feet and have three or four bedrooms.

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