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These houses have front porches: What's happening with Wadams Farm development in Sooke

First phase of Wadams Farm housing development nearing completion

The first 17 single-family houses in the Wadams Farm housing development in the centre of Sooke are coming onto the market this month. 

A total of 54 single-family homes and 78 rental townhomes are being built on 10.5 acres once occupied by Olive and Peter Wadams, who grew award-winning flowers and had a pasture and a couple of cows for meat and milking. 

The Wadams’ house, built around 1919, was called Forshaw after their former home in the England, said Elida Peers, historian at the Sooke Region Museum. 

Today, the acreage is being transformed. In a tribute to the property’s farm heritage, Vancouver-based developer Aragon Properties is putting a front porch on each of the houses to encourage a community environment and neighbourliness. 

The first houses will go on sale on June 15 and are to be completed in July, said Luke Ramsay, Aragon development manager. 

When Aragon bought the former farm site 2018, it had already been rezoned for residential development. 

The city gave the green light to Aragon’s plans to build houses on small lots and add townhouses. 

Aragon will retain ownership of the three-level rental townhomes, but single-family homes will be sold as fee-simple lots. 

Most houses range from 1,700 square feet to just shy of 2,000 square feet. The starting price is $890,000. 

Ramsay expects all the houses to be finished about this time next year. 

Paved lanes run behind the houses, each of which has a two-car garage with an EV charger at the rear of the property, moving vehicles away from the streets. 

It costs more to add lanes but “ultimately we think it makes for a better product,” Ramsay said. The streets and lanes will become municipal property. 

The first townhouses totalling 22 units are under construction across the street from the first single-family houses. They range in size from about 1,300 square feet up to 1,650 square feet. Rents have not been set yet. 

The development’s main amenity area will include a multi-purpose court, a children’s playground with natural features and a 10,000-square-foot dog park. 

A two-storey amenity building, for townhome renters only, was inspired by a historic barn. It has a main floor that can be used for events, with workstations and small boardrooms for residents upstairs. 

The development has been designed to be walkable, with schools, the local library, grocery stores and the community centre close by. 

Sooke’s Stickleback multi-use trail is being extended through the property, which will also have other walking paths. 

Mayor Maja Tait said other housing projects are going up in Sooke; this one is at the edge of the town centre and easily accessible to services and shopping. 

She likes that Aragon placed garages at the back of houses and praised the amenity building. 

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