A new player has joined the team of builders in popular Riverside South. After an absence of more than 15 years, Cardel Homes has returned to the south end with the launch of Ironwood.
“We were excited to branch out of our usual area,” says assistant marketing manager Claire Brown. “We’ve been in Kanata and Richmond and Miller’s (Crossing in Carleton Place) and this side of town for so long.”
Ironwood becomes the latest project in master-planned Riverside South, which now has some 7,000 homes since building first began in 1997.
Ironwood launched March 4, amid a snowstorm, at Cardel’s Blackstone sales centre in Kanata, resulting in a 30-minute drive for south-end residents who were keen to check out the homes on offer. But while sales centre traffic was not overwhelming — a soft market and poor weather will do that — “the people we had were strong prospects… and we’ve heard from them since, every single one,” notes sales manager Betsy Leeks.
The Ironwood launch “went really well,” adds Brown. “It was nice to see multiple groups of people with interest in buying again.”
Cardel released eight single-family home lots on opening weekend; a small number, but typical for Cardel releases. Introductory pricing starts at $855,000 for the singles, and launch incentives include a $15,000 design centre bonus. “We’re trying to make a little bit of a splash during a quiet time in the market,” says Leeks.
Ironwood will see a mix of 500 two-storey singles and townhomes, with 270 in the first phase made up of 148 singles and 122 towns. The first townhomes are expected to be released April 1, starting at $708,000, with a $15,000 design centre bonus and stainless-steel appliances.
Given the state of the market, which has seen low sales since the middle of 2022, why launch now?
“We were more than ready,” says Leeks. “We have been anticipating coming into Riverside South for a number of years.” While she admits launching last spring when the market was still hot would have been preferred, “we weren’t near ready for it.”
And despite the still-slow market, she says they’ve seen an uptick in sales centre traffic recently. “The last few weeks have proven to be strong weeks. We have definitely seen an adjustment.” Registrations for Ironwood have also been strong, adds Brown.
So far, Cardel is seeing interest primarily from current Riverside South and area residents who want to move up. “They’re very excited Cardel is ‘in town,’” says Leeks.
That was the case for the first person to reserve a lot on opening weekend. “I wanted a single home,” says the buyer, who did not want his name used. An area resident for the past 10 years and currently owning a townhome, he has been looking for about two years but had difficulty finding what he wanted and then being able to get it in Ottawa’s heated market.
“Two years ago, there were so many people buying homes. So, this time, I’m the first one.”
While it’s primarily move-up buyers showing initial interest — which is not surprising given the first release is single-family homes — Leeks expects future buyers to include first-timers and downsizers.
Cardel should have a temporary sales centre at the Ironwood site this spring, with model homes to follow next spring. For now, although selling from Kanata means a bit of a drive for south-end residents, it also means they get to see the builder’s model homes at both Blackstone and nearby EdenWylde in Stittsville.
“They speak for themselves,” Leeks says of the models.
Ironwood is currently the Riverside South project located the furthest south, between River and Spratt roads, south of Chorus Drive. Cardel benefits from the groundwork laid by multiple builders who have come before, meaning there are already plenty of amenities in the area.
“We’re definitely the last man in, but I can’t think of a better way to come in (to a community),” Leeks says. “We had a rare opportunity to look at all the other builders, as well as the community and what it offered before we got there. We were able to pick and choose our floor plans, edit them the way we wanted them based on the demographic that was there … and it’s being well received because our pricing is very good (and) our product is even better.”
The name Ironwood is “a strong name that would stand out in the community,” Leeks explains. It “was derived from a hardwood tree found in the south. With our location, and returning to the south end, the name fit.”
Cardel has tweaked its floor plans, she says, offering some options for multigenerational living (the first buyer chose a multigenerational home), as well as introducing a new floor plan, called the Byron. “We fused two floor plans to create a superstar … It’s going to be very popular,” Leeks says.
The Byron comes as a three-bedroom home with a “beautiful vaulted ceiling in the family room,” says Leeks. It includes a second-floor bonus room — the first time she has seen a bonus room on the second floor that’s not in the front. “We’ve given our bedrooms the front windows and created a more intimate, cosy space (for the bonus room) through the centre of the home.” The bonus room can also be converted into a fourth bedroom.
There are nine single-family home floor plans on 34- and 38-foot lots and three townhome ones in the lineup, ranging from 2,000 to 2,800 square feet and from three to five bedrooms.
Key features in the singles include Cardel’s signature family room window wall in many plans — “the windows speak volumes,” Leeks says — triple-pane windows, quartz counters, smooth ceilings and hardwood on the main floor, open staircases and frameless glass showers in the ensuite. All singles have a main-floor flex room, most have a second-floor bonus room and some have options for a main-floor guest suite.
In the towns, a finished basement rec room space, triple-pane windows and stainless-steel appliances are included and there are options for a double-car garage, a main-floor flex space and a loft or fourth bedroom on the second floor.
In Ironwood itself, there is a park across the street from the first release of lots, green space down the street and land set aside for a future high school.
In the Riverside South area, light rail is coming, schools are in place and there are several amenities, including grocery stores and restaurants. “There’s definitely more to come, just based on the growth within the area,” says Leeks. The big box shopping of Barrhaven is just across the Vimy Memorial Bridge, “and people enjoy the quietness of Manotick, too, which is only a few minutes away.”
Adds the first buyer: “I don’t really find any need to go anywhere (else).”
Construction is expected to start this spring, with first move-in dates anticipated early in 2024.
For more information on Ironwood and current pricing, check our development overview.