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Positive outlook for Ironstone Lookout

Perched on a plateau on the cusp of Coleman, Ironstone Lookout is one of the first developments in the Crowsnest Pass to actually put shovel to dirt and begin construction.

With their first major open house drawing thousands to the development during Rum Runner Days, Ironstone has already pre-sold a considerable number of units,and garnered interest in potential buyers from across Alberta and BC.

"We are selling to Calgarians, Edmontonians, people from Lethbridge," said John Pundyk, the project's realtor.

"We are attracting a good number of locals, too — we will keep building as long as people are buying."

The development itself features both bungalow and multi-story townhome units, ranging from around 1,200 square feet for the bungalows to 1,800 square feet for the townhomes.

Shane Stewart, president of Clanswest Development Ltd, stresses the aim of the development is maintenance-free living in a desirable location.

"We've tried to create a development that is very appealing," said Stewart.

"We're trying to appeal to the surroundings — the fir trees and the mountains, for example. We've used materials that are natural to the area."

These materials include river rock, cedar and other natural, durable media, taking advantage of colour schemes that reflect the natural colours and textures of the surrounding environment — what Stewart describes as "real Rocky Mountain colours."

Maintenance-free, condo-style living is a selling point developers are working hard to emphasize. Lawn care and snow removal is covered by the monthly fees, as is building upkeep and insurance.

It is this selling point that is most desirable to those seeking a hassle-free living space in the mountains, Shane said.

Among these potential buyers are retirees looking for a simple, hassle free lifestyle — something developers kept in mind when planning the internal layout of the units.

"The dominant floorplan is bungalow," said Pundyk. "They appeal to a lot of people. We aren't getting any younger, and they are easier on the knees."

While not a retirement community itself — purchasers range in age from the mid 30s to early 80s — the development has been designed with the aging population in mind. The bungalows are all wheelchair friendly and offer amenities such as main-floor laundry facilities.

Ironstone Lookout is one of the developments in the Pass that is taking advantage of the increased interest in the area.

"It's an exciting time here," says Pundyk. "People have been talking about developing this area for many years, and finally the critical mass of people in Calgary viewing us as an alternative mountain destination, has reached the point where we actually see prices changing dramatically."

Shane Stewart agrees.

"We are one of the first developers in the area to get off the blocks and offer buildings on the ground for purchase," Stewart said.

"We like to refer to this development as the springboard to the Rocky Mountains."

Janet and John Deveau recently purchased a unit in Ironstone. A recently retired couple from Calgary, they felt that Ironstone offered them what they were looking for.

"We've been looking at property for years," John Deveau said.

"This is the first time we've both looked at each other and said 'we've found it.'"

"We just love the Pass," added his wife.

"Everybody we've talked to who lives or works here loves it."

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