Sells 10 lots for $1 apiece

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Look for five homes to be built in the Fournier Place subdivision on the west side of Slave Lake.

A company called Landrex Inc. has made a deal with the Town of Slave Lake to buy 10 lots for one dollar each. In exchange, Landrex has agreed to build five homes ‘on spec,’ and then five more, one at a time as the first five sell. According to the agreement, the town gets some of the profit, per sale.

The town made the announcement on May 29, following a decision council made at its May 16 meeting. It wasn’t reported in The Leader because the decision was made after a closed session.

According to mayor Francesca Ward, such deals are not uncommon when municipalities want to get things moving. And not much has been happening in Slave Lake in housing construction for several years.
“People have been begging for housing,” Ward says. “This is one opportunity.”

Fournier Place was developed after the 2011 wildfire with high hopes, but for various reasons, it never really caught on. About a dozen homes were built by a company called Northplex, which had the initial contract with the town to develop Fournier Place. After that it stopped dead for several years and council has been talking, on and off, for a couple of years about how to get things moving again.

One idea was to change the restrictive design standards. They’d been put in place originally so as to control the look of the developing neighourhood. But to change them, the agreement of all the current owners was needed; the town tried and failed to get that.

So it would seem Landrex is bound by those controls and was willing to take the risk, but not for more than a dollar per lot.

It’s worth noting that the deal can be petitioned down. In fact the town made a point, in its announcement, of informing residents of the rules regarding a petition. For example, to be legitimate, a petition must have the signatures of at least 10 per cent of the population.

The Town of Slave Lake is hoping the mostly-empty Fournier Place subdivision will start filling up, after striking a deal with a St. Albert developer.