Yesterday, Parastone, a locally owned construction and development company, began developing a substantial portion of the 660-acre parcel of land one kilometer from Fernie’s historic downtown.
The new residential community, coined Montane, will provide Fernie with 140 homes, ranging drastically in price.
“This towns been waiting for this land to be invested in for over 15 years now,” general manager of Parastone Simon Howse said.
“It was starting to be viewed as a bit of a never, never project. Now it’s back on track.”
Originally, the land was purchased for the purpose of turning it into a golf course, Howse said.
But when Parastone took over the development earlier this year, they decided to turn the land into a residential community that will bring Fernie back to its historical roots.
Howse said that they plan to turn the “Old Barn”, originally used to house pit ponies for the Coal Creek Mine, into a community farm.
“The number one question people have been asking me since news on Montane began is ‘What will happen to the barn?’ Howse said in a press release.
“I’m please to say the barn is staying.”
A community garden will also be built on the land.
“The vision for the neighbourhood really came from a recognition and respect for the role it plays in the larger Fernie community,” Howse said.
On August 1, Parastone announced the launch of its Locals First priority selection program, catering the first phase of the Montane project solely to Fernie locals.
“We are developing a community which compliments Fernie and because of this, we want residents to have the first chance to buy homes,” Howse said.
“It’s that Fernie first kind of approach where local people have an opportunity to build new on a large lot and still walk to town.”
And with biking trails and walking trails in close proximity to the land, Fernie’s downtown will be easily accessible.
The first phase of the project will be completed in October, with 26 lots available by the end of the month, Howse said.