• Jim Mosher

Smaller homes expected to appeal to first-time buyers, retirees

Updated: Feb 13, 2019

Jaimie and Vince Dery live in Arnes.

Vince Dery believes the Interlake needs affordably-priced new — and smaller — homes for young families and retirees looking to relocate.

Dery and his wife Jaimie live in Arnes. They’ve dipped their toes in small housing developments in the past and now have taken the leap with a 44-lot subdivision in Winnipeg Beach.

The Dery venture was unanimously approved by town council after a public hearing Jan. 23. What’s left is to hammer out a development agreement to address such things as lot grades and concerns raised at the public hearing.

Vince Dery, who’s been in the building industry 21 years, has partnered with Star Builders, a Winnipeg firm he has dealt with before. Star will pre-build homes off-site. The dimensions of the homes will range between 700 and 800 square feet. There will be four different models from which to select.

Homes will be sold by VRD Property Developments Inc., of which Dery is a principal.

“This is not our first rodeo,” he said in an interview Sun., Jan. 27. “But it’s by far our largest to-date. And Star has been really involved from the start.”

The residential housing project, located west of Strollway St. on a 12-acre parcel, is laid out in a bay — named Lakewood Bay with the overall subdivision named Lakewood’s Estates — and features lots of 50- to 70-ft. frontage and 170-ft. depth.

Dery hopes to keep the top-end price at or below $200,000. The price will include infrastructure, including the access road (a westward extension of Lake Ave.), the bay, a water well and a sewer tank hooked up to the town’s low-pressure sewer system.

“The price is going to be including everything: the lot, the well, the septic, the house, the move — everything,” Dery said, adding he’ll be putting his all into the development. “I don’t have another job. I’m not doing the bills. So the process is so much quicker for me. I’m kind of like the air traffic control team directing the traffic. I’ve got the Star Builders team, I’ve got trades around here we’ve worked with for years.”

Direct-to-home infrastructure, such as hydro, cable, natural gas will be buried, Dery explained. “I think hydro needs a six-month window — that would put us to the end of the summer,” he said. “So with the show home (expected to be in place at the end of June) maybe we can land one or two homes this year. We’ll see how it all plays out.”

Work is expected to be begin in June, all things being equal. In the meantime, a contractor will get earth-moving and other equipment to the site before spring so site clearing, road building and digging sewer tank connections are ready to go in advance of the lifting of spring road restrictions.

Lakewood’s Estates might have been developed in Gimli. But the land there was pricey — and none fit Dery’s vision as well as the parcel he chose in Winnipeg Beach. A serendipitous meeting with Mike Halabura, who had years ago eyed developing the parcel that will now be home to the Dery development, got Dery to thinking. It was, Dery concluded, the ideal spot.

Halabura, now 75, says he was happy to part with his property and hand off his own dream project to Dery who is young and energetic — and shares his vision. Adds Halabura, he wants to enjoy his remaining years.

Dery, meanwhile, is pumped.

“This is going to be our biggest undertaking by a mile,” said Dery. “We’re excited.”

Wife Jaimie, who works at Erosion Control Blanket in Riverton, will help do the books. Beyond that, it’s on her husband’s shoulders to bring the project to fruition.

Vince is counting on the allure of affordable, energy-efficient, low-maintenance new homes to be a significant draw.

There’s more to the Dery endeavour. “We’re totally invested in the Interlake,” said Vince. “We’ve brought in year-round homes, and that’s done well. We’re just excited. We want to have a great product.”

Dery says he has been in close contact with Interlake tradespeople. “Obviously getting all these professionals and the right players involved here is hopefully going to go well for everyone.”

“I think we have all the right ingredients.”

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