A golden opportunity to build dream home on one of Edmonton’s most historic sites.
For urban city dwellers looking to put down roots in a community filled with an interesting past and a bright future, Sylvancroft Estates is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Nestled between the boundaries of Westmount and Glenora, the picturesque parcel of land surrounded in trees is a quick step to the bustling 124 st. and downtown area, and serenely overlooks the Groat Road Ravine.
Once the spot of an elegant mansion built by Edmonton Mayor, Harry Evans in 1911, the beautiful grounds were the site of celebrity parties and large social gatherings, with horseback riding and tennis in the summer and ice skating in the winter. The Evans family lived at Sylvancroft for many generations, but eventually the property was too expensive to maintain and was sold. Years later, it has been redesigned with imagination and creativity.
“I love sites and buildings with story, and this is filled with many,” explains Ivan Beljan, Civil Engineer and Visioneer of Beljan Development. While the original structures do not remain anymore, the spirit of Sylvancroft lives on. “The whole idea was to take a bit of the initial story of how Sylvancroft came to be, and take that into a new chapter into the modern world.”
Today Sylvancroft, which means “the field amongst the trees,” is a fresh, small neighbourhood attracting young urbanites and professionals. “We took the story of original thinkers and want to create 9 or 10 original homes here, all unique and different,” says Ivan. “ We hope to densify the site a bit more, and get communities back to the core of the city.”
The area is a mix of modern duplexes and single homes. There are just two prime lots left available for development on Sylvancroft Lane. Lot 6 is a single with a beautiful tree.
Lot 9 is a larger corner piece that used to occupy the mansion, and has a spectacular view overlooking the Ravine. Buyers can work with Beljan Development’s home builders or a builder of their choice. There are unique architectural guidelines in place for Sylvancroft, with the opportunity to have some creative freedom to design and build the home of your dreams.
The cozy community is in an exceptional part of the city. “You have a bit of the heritage and character of the area, with a lot of modern amenities,” explains Ivan. “With the proximity to the River Valley, to downtown, and the future LRT right outside your door to hop on and go to a hockey game; you can really live and work in the area and embrace the whole lifestyle.”
The team at Beljan Development looks for rich stories and imaginative projects in neighbourhoods on the edge of change. “We’re hoping to create cities that have a great vibe to them,” says Ivan. “And what makes the vibe? It’s the people, it’s the commoners, and it’s the activity at the street level.”
The Oliver Exchange, a stunning commercial project of Beljan Development’s in the nearby Oliver neighbourhood, reflects this energy. The Oliver Exchange was an old 100 -year-old telephone building brought to new life. “We were fortunate to re-think the building and attract awesome local tenants. We have Odd Company Brewing, Iconoclast Coffee Roasters, Brio Bakery, Plum Home + Design and an event space. They all fit in as a collective. Nestled in a really high density neighbourhood of Oliver it’s been really well received.”
To recreate the aging building, they carefully opened it up to bring in natural light, created an atrium, and added an elevator. “We kept the charm of the old wood and steel tresses and we updated all the mechanical, electrical and all those pieces to make it work.”
“Beljan Development always seems to have a connection with their surrounding environment,” says Kerri-lyn Holland of Re/Max River City. “With the Oliver Exchange building and exposed brick walls and European shopping experience there is a conscious decision to bring forward the character of the surroundings and mesh that into their design.”
A similar approach has been taken south of the River, where Beljan Development bought and redeveloped the Old Strathcona Hotel and CP Railway Station in the heart of the Whyte Ave district. The historic sites were landing places for Edmonton’s first residents and visitors in the late 1800’s, and they wanted to re-envision them into something modern today.
The Strathcona, set to open in March, is a blend of old and new, and houses a collective of unique boutique shops, eateries and retail spaces.
Station Park across the street will feature food and beverage hot spots on the upper level. The conversion of sea cans or shipping containers on the ground level will house retail that will be a shopping experience like no other in Edmonton, influenced by Ivan’s global travels and a nod to architectural design trends in London, New York and Toronto. “It will be a great entry into the Edmonton market and in an historical district,” he says “and just something that will re-energize and activate that corridor.”
It’s an opportune time to connect with Beljan Development who are game changers and leaders in their field. “Nobody’s really pushed the envelope in Edmonton and we get to do unique and creative things. I think people embrace us for that, because they’ve seen the world and want to have our own special areas and streets and gems of districts here which we haven’t really had in Edmonton,” says Ivan. “And we’re not doing it alone; it takes a whole city and a whole bunch of people to make change happen and it happens slowly. We are just doing it project by project, trying to inch our way to a better city.”
You can be part of this exciting new wave in Edmonton and experience your own dream home project in spectacular Sylvancroft Estates.
Contact Holland & Associates today about the exceptional last two remaining lots in Sylvancroft Estates, and start building your own beautiful stories of a modern well-lived life!
Photo Credit: Beljan Development
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