© Scott Anderson
Darrell Wallace, Derek Wallace and Jay Wallace from Wallace Construction were joined by Innovation Credit Union representative Patrick Ewert and Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer for a sod turning to launch the Crystal Waters 23-unit condominium project. (Booster photo by Scott Anderson)
A formal sod turning for Wallace Construction's Crystal Waters 23-unit condominium project will soon be followed by full scale construction at the property in Swift Current's core.
Wallace Construction Ltd. owner Darrell Wallace said they are ahead of schedule for getting the project off the ground, the second phase of their Sweetwater Estates project at the site of the former Swift Current Union Hospital.
"We're actually ready to break ground with the big equipment. Today we did a little sod turning, but within a week or so here - the machine is sitting on site so we're ready to start digging," Wallace said following the June 26 sod turning. He noted they were finalizing details with some contractors and sub-trades, but work will be underway shortly.
"Within a few weeks we're going to hopefully be in full swing."
Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer spoke at the sod turning and explained how this project is important in helping move the city forward.
"This is a real significant development in Swift Current for lots of different reasons. When the hospital was first relocated and this lot was vacant, there was lots of questions and some concerns about how this property would be developed. I think that one thing that we can all agree on is the quality of housing and development that's happening here thanks to Darryl and Colleen and Wallace Construction has made this something that not only all the neighbours and residents in this area, but everybody in the community can be proud of. I think they deserve a tremendous amount of credit for taking the risk in the vision they had and turn this property into something that everyone can be proud of and happy for."
He noted that when completed, the three phase project will provide 70 new homes for families and individuals, and result in $30 million in total construction activity.
"That kind of economic activity is amazing and I think for a business in Swift Current to tackle that and invest in that is something that we can all be proud of and certainly we should be celebrating."
"This is more than a housing development, this is a landmark and legacy."
As Wallace Construction has been in business in Swift Current for 35 years, and they boast a staff of around 35 employees, Schafer noted they impact the community in a number of ways.
"It's important for Swift Current in so many levels," Schafer said. "It does to this property what I think everybody wanted it to - it's a high level development, high quality homes,
a beautiful residential development, fits in with the area nice - and I don't think anybody could have asked for anything better than how this property's been redeveloped."
Ultimately, Crystal Waters and the Sweetwater Estates project are the vision of the contractor, with the city trying to be a good partner in encouraging growth projects.
"All we can do as a City is try and be as accommodating as possible. It takes risk takers and people that have a belief, not only in our community, but the people of this community and this region more than anything. I think that's certainly what Darryl and Colleen are showing as a commitment to our community and a big belief in the people of Southwest Saskatchewan."
Wallace noted that it has been an exciting process since their original sod turning on Set. 29, 2011 when they had two houses underway in phase one of their Sweetwater Estates. They now have nine homes built or in the construction process, with an additional three houses starting this fall.
Crystal Waters, as a 23 unit high end building, will be a showcase project.
"I guarantee you that it will be the nicest building of its kind in our city," Darrell Wallace said.
"Someone asked me why we're doing this project, and it's because we believe in our city, and the city has been good to us. And we believe in our leadership in Mayor Schafer and our council. We're under great leadership, and when we know we have that, you're willing to step out and be a part of the vision for our city."
"We didn't think phase two would be coming on board quite as quickly, because we thought we would probably be out of phase one and then start into phase two. But a lot of people came by and said they were not really looking for a house-style condo, they were looking for an apartment-style condo. It seemed like there was a lot of interest in that, and we started making plans and that's how Crystal Waters was born. We're excited to have both phases going at the same time."