Flipping the Script

Chairs on lake for article

As featured in The Chronicle Herald.

There’s a strong relationship between the notions of investment and real estate. After all, who hasn’t heard that purchasing a home or land is one of the most important investments one can make in a lifetime? Such assets offer security, high returns and something that can be passed down for generations to come.

What is not often considered, however, is the investment that land, residential, and commercial developers make in the community in which they choose to build.

By “flipping the script” we can see that not only are those who buy into a development making an investment in their future, but the development itself is investing in the community it will serve for generations to come.

“We are not only building for today, or even for tomorrow,” explains Kristi Wenaus, vice president of sales and marketing for Terra Firma, the developers of Forest Lakes. “We are building a legacy for the next 100 years.”

Forest Lakes Country Club is a resort-style community located only 30 minutes from the Halifax core – half way between Bedford and the Annapolis Valley, in the beautiful community of Ardoise. Set on more than 1,700 acres, Forest Lakes is intended to offer a healthy, upscale and fun lifestyle for all in the community – those who live in Forest Lakes itself, as well as those who live in the surrounding area. A community within a community, so to speak.

“We are the opposite of a gated community,” says Wenaus. “We are taking great care to build a vibrant hub for the entire county of West Hants. Residents of Forest Lakes will enjoy living among the retail shops, cafes, restaurants, hotels, spa and rec centre, but non-residents will have full access to these amenities as well – including the only 18-hole Nicklaus Design golf course east of Ontario.”

Plans also include an equestrian area, water park and many recreational areas and hiking trails.

Those who live in Forest Lakes can choose from specially designed housing options ranging from custom residences on a choice of building lots, to convenient condominiums and townhouses. But, the developers stress, this is a community for everyone to enjoy.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us in Nova Scotia, especially in rural nova Scotia,” says Wenaus. “Not everyone wishes be in the core. On many levels, Forest Lakes is taking what Nova Scotian’s know to be the best of our province and allowing us to actually live that life – it’s not something that should only be available for tourists or for special occasions.”

Here, Wenaus is referring to the many delights that tourists to this area love to partake in – from the craft beers and wine produced, to the local entertainment and food. This part of the province is magical – ask anyone who has visited “from away.” So why shouldn’t we, who live here, get to experience it too?

“Residents of Ardoise will gas up at the Forest Lake gas station, swim in the family entertainment centre, golf at the course and dine in the restaurants,” Wenaus explains. “It’s a community built for Nova Scotia, built by Nova Scotians, enjoyed by everyone for generations to come.”

And Forest Lakes is not only investing in the local community by building a lifestyle for those who live there or visit from other parts. They are providing jobs in an area and in a time that requires them dearly.

The golf course alone will employ 40 people. Not to mention servers and chefs at the restaurants, staff at the stores, and those needed to build and maintain the infrastructure for an entire town within a town.

“From the flooring to be installed, to windows and roofs, Forest Lakes will be employing tradespeople and using local building suppliers for the next 20 years. This is a long term, carefully curated development of great scale.”

Already local firms such as Design 360 Inc. and Lindsay Construction, as well as law firms, interior decorators and engineering services have been recruited. Forest Lakes is an Atlantic Canadian development, employing Atlantic Canadian experts.

“We can think of no better investment, in no better place to invest,” says Wenaus. “Everybody exhales when they enter the community. We, as Nova Scotians, deserve to live the life we know we are blessed to have. Forest Lakes wants to be part of making that happen.”