After years of work in the community, the Edmonton Community Development Company’s (ECDC) first completed property is on the market, located at 9316 109 Ave in McCauley. What started as a boarded-up derelict property has become a beautiful duplex that brightens up the neighbourhood. 

The property, which was the fourth derelict house that ECDC purchased, went on the market on July 7, and has received plenty of attention from neighbours, local politicians, and interested home buyers. 

The organization purchased the property in March 2021 and demolished the property in July of that year. They partnered with Euro Design Master Builder, who designed and built the property. Karen Gingras, the executive director of ECDC, and her team chose the finishes on the duplex, from the colours to the comfy carpet underlay, and even designed the look of the outside of the duplex. 

The team made sure to have input from the community as well, especially into the design of the home’s exterior. “The idea of the layout for the front of the deck and the stairs actually came from neighbourhood residents,” says Gingras. “In McCaulay… people like to sit on their front step and have the kids interact…. The streets are pretty quiet so kids can play.”

Community members explained that having a large open deck was important for community building and to let kids have an opportunity to play and cross between different yards, and ECDC changed their initial design to accommodate this feedback. 

Gingras explains that the property was designed as a duplex for several reasons. “One, we want to actually increase density, and two, for us to be able to sell affordably and not at $600,000 or $500,000 for an infill, we needed to have two [properties on the lot].” The cost of a single infill property was more than ECDC’s target market could afford. The duplex is also priced slightly below market average. 

The organization’s hope is that the families who buy the properties will stay in the community and not rent the properties out. “We want people who are willing to stay and become part of the community,” says Gingras.

“We would really like to see and reintroduce McCauley to new families,” adds Michael Quiambao, the project coordinator and property manager for ECDC. “Growing families is what we’d like to see, or urban professionals who want to work close to the downtown area. So that’s really where our target demographic is.” 

In order to tear down, rebuild, and finish the property, Gingras says many people had to take pay cuts or volunteer their time to help ECDC stay on budget. Their realtor, Don McKay, opted to only take a very small commission from the sale of the property, ECDC’s lawyer volunteered her time, and even the builder’s subtrades took a cut to build the property.

“There’s a whole bunch of people who have really done a good deed for us in this development,” says Gingras. 

The proceeds from the sale of the duplex will go toward paying off ECDC’s loans so that the organization can purchase more derelict properties in the area. 

At the open house, one of ValGal Motors’ Valiants was parked outside the property to drum up more excitement about the open house, and Anilkumar Lakhiya, a mortgage specialist from TD Canada Trust, was also in attendance to help. 

Since this is ECDC’s first completed home, Gingras says the organization’s team is beyond excited about it. “It’s a lovely place to have a home,” adds Gingras.