Proposal Regarding Edmonton’s Infill Policies Focus On Original Homes

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Proposal Regarding Edmonton’s Infill Policies Focus On Original Homes

There have been additional changes regarding Edmonton’s infill development rules, and the changes have been brought about to ensure the area continues to be clean and mature neighborhoods are intact at all times. It is, therefore, very important to take a closer look at the salient aspects of these proposed new rules and regulations. This will certainly help a lot in always being on the right side of the law when it comes to designing new homes in Edmonton and its neighborhoods. However, from the property owners’ perspective, if the new rules take effect, there will be a number of changes, including which materials are utilized for construction.

Changes In Materials

Some of the biggest changes will be concerning the kind of material that will need to be used on each street-facing facade. There will now have to be at least three different types of materials. The new rules might also prevent building of identical homes that are side by side. The above and other changes to the mature neighborhoods are still under consideration and in the discussion stage. Apart from the above, there are a number of other proposed changes, which are being reviewed as far as real estate construction is concerned.

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Attached Garages

Rear garages in the backyard of homes will now be allowed for the first time to meet popular demand. However, they will only be permitted in places which are 15 meters or wider. At best they will be able to hold a maximum of two vehicles. At the same time, the rules pertaining to the front garages have also been tightened. This will now be possible only in homes where there are no back lanes or if the previous house had a driveway in the front.

Side And Front Setbacks

There are many community members who are not happy with the proposed rules should they come into effect. Part of this is because there are no changes to the side setbacks. The rules as they exist currently make it possible to build homes with four feet of property line, constructed in narrow lots. There may also be other requirements with regards to building design and height.

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

Real Estate Prices in Edmonton Stable Although Sales Have Dropped

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Real Estate Prices in Edmonton Stable Although Sales Have Dropped

Per the report submitted by the Realtors Association of Edmonton in September, the prices of homes in Edmonton have stabilized compared to the year prior while there has been a continuous fall in sales.

According to Steve Sedgwick, the chairperson of the association, the average value of condos and duplex houses has remained the same but single-family homes have declined a little since 2014. The main reason behind the steady average prices of homes is reducing the speed of their sales and increasing number of registered properties. The absence of huge dips and hikes in their prices has enabled people to see this price steadiness.

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The tightening of mortgage rules and closure of tax loopholes used by foreign buyers by the federal government may not affect these prices to a great extent. He further said that the impact of falling prices on the sales couldn’t be answered at this time as normally prices fall with the drop in home buying. In his opinion, the city can expect to see some kind of correction in prices if this trend continues for a longer time period.

Some figures of the assessment of the association regarding September’s regional housing market are given here:

Average sale price for single-family homes: $430,461

Average sale price for homes of all types: $373,926

Increase in sale price from September last year: 1.5%

Total sales of residential properties: 1,339

Drop in total sales since 2015 September: 8.4%

Sales of condominiums: 327

Drop in sales of condos since last year: 20%

Average sale price of condo: $251,365

Number of residential properties available for sale: 7,857

Increase in sale of properties in September 2015: 10.5%

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

First Competition For Infill Design

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Edmonton Has Its First Competition For Infill Design

Infill development is one of the most talked about developmental concerns in Edmonton. It has received mixed reviews throughout the city and so much criticism has been focused on the way the houses do not fit in with their surroundings.

However, the city is giving Edmontonians a chance to cast their vote on how the city can influence residents to stay in the city after launching the first ever infill design competition.

The Edmonton infill design competition is a great opportunity to encourage productive conversations among Edmontonians about infill. It will help the public as well as the real estate community to review some of the best possible choices. This competition also demonstrates that infill will fit in instead of detract from the character of the already established neighborhoods.

The city has received over eighty submissions from people all over the continent, and there is now a shorter list compiled of eighteen that will go up for the vote. Some of the selected designs include super modern skinny houses as well as small homes with solar panels decorating the living room walls.

Registration and online voting is open. Both students and professionals can vote for their preferred designs. The final votes should be submitted on or before Oct 3, 2016, and the selected designs that win will be announced on Oct 20 at the competition gala.

Edmonton’s infill design competition was greatly inspired by a plan for the city to increase the urban density, and this vote will show Edmontonians the wide range of infill designs. Edmonton is excited to celebrate innovation as well as advancement in the designing possibilities for infill development in the city.

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

Edmonton Metro Region Making Plans For Future Growth

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Edmonton Metro Region Making Plans For Future Growth

As the Edmonton region grows with increased population resulting in more pressure on the existing infrastructure, there is a need to look for ways and means by which the changing realities and requirements can be accommodated. Hence it is quite obvious that there is a new growth plan that is on the anvil. Apart from helping to give a new push to the infrastructure, it is believed that the capital region would be able to save around $5 billion.

Furthermore, it would be able to create and preserve an area larger in size than St. Albert, Sherwood Park and Spruce Grove put together. The plan has been named the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan, and the Capital Region Board received the final draft of the plan on September 8 2016. The draft lays down the main rules as to how the communities in and around the Edmonton area can be developed in the next 30 years.

EDMONTON, ALTA: SEPTEMBER 10, 2015 -- An aerial view downtown Edmonton with the North Saskatchewan River on September 10, 2015. (Photo by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

The Salient Features Of The Plan

There is no doubt that any urban expansion plan is very expensive, and Cathy Heron is of the same opinion as far as St. Albert County is concerned. Amongst other things, St. Albert will need a new fire hall over the next five years. The objective of this new growth plan is to preserve greenery as much as possible and reduce the cost for constructing new infrastructure. According to the plan, efforts are on to save costs on infrastructure by saving on new pipes, roads and other ongoing operating expenses and costs. The plan takes into account the forecast that the population of the Edmonton region will double to around 2.2 million by 2044.

Even while accommodating this growth, the local government in question could save up to $5 billion on infrastructure. This is because they will be using time tested compact development and various other methods. They will also not be touching around 250 quarter sections of land. This area would be big enough to house St. Albert, Sherwood Park and Spruce Grove, as mentioned earlier.

What The Plan Is All About

The main aim of the plan is to ensure that the children and grandchildren of the Edmonton region have a bright future. This document lays down the rules pertaining to the development of the region. Local government will implement the plans and municipal development plans will form the basis. The plan will try and save as much farmland as possible. This will increase food production and will also ensure that less distance is traveled by road.

Amongst various other things, the plan takes into account the need for utility and transportation corridors. It sets apart employment zones and natural areas will be identified. The employment zone will essentially be Alberta’s industrial heartland where industry and business will be located. The main objective of the entire plan is to conserve prime agriculture because of the increased need for food for future generations. However, it could take about 5-10 years before any residents would be able to notice obvious effects from the plan. Currently the plan will be calling for increased infill development.

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

Cities in Alberta Encourage New Tax Levy

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Cities in Alberta Encourage New Tax Levy

The cities and towns of Alberta are looking out for a new local tax levy system for funding their fire halls, recreation hubs and wastewater plants. They are mostly worried about the currently proposed alternative, which is of an off-site levy that is likely to put both the developers and the new homeowners in the same bill. This will supposedly work only for the larger and relatively fast growing cities, leaving a large number of municipalities with fewer options when complex infrastructure would need repair. According to the president of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA), Lisa Holmes, the amount for building an entirely new fire hall can be extremely extravagant. She also laid out the position of the group at the editorial board of Postmedia at Edmonton on Monday.

The Municipal Government Act (MGA) of Alberta has been finally opened for the first time since the early 1990s. This government act is a system of law which holds equal gravitas as the constitution of the municipalities in Alberta. The province has introduced the various amendments and finally gave a first reading to the bill in May. The rest of the summer was spent in consulting with the public and the various stakeholders.

The additional changes are likely to be announced after the commencements of the house hits on October 31st. About 45 different regulations have been jotted down and reviewed. They are likely to be posted online for residents to comment on at the beginning of the new year.

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Under this current proposal, developers are likely to contribute towards the development of the new fire halls, libraries, recreation hubs and the police stations if the residents of the new locality get a benefit of more than 30 percent. But according to Holmes, the smaller cities witness the slow growth of localities so no project could actually come up with one third of a fire hall’s demand. According to her, it is a better option to pitch the levies for a particular amount associated with a particular period over a defined time frame. It may or may not cross the jurisdictional boundaries but will only charge residents of those parts of the counties and town that gain the maximum benefits from the infrastructure.

The limited alternatives for the local improvement in the MGA require a proper plebiscite. AUMA does not come with the formal position that it is required to stay, and Holmes does not find any problem with it.

The larger and smaller cities of Alberta are facing a deferred infrastructure of $26 billion. The new MGA will therefore require the cities to come up with capital plans for five years. However, that would be without the grant funding from the provinces.

According to the president of the Urban Development Institute chapter of Alberta, Russell Dauk, developers will also look out for an alternative option for the off-site levying in their current proposal. These costs would potentially be passed to the homebuyers. However, he also warned that if the new fire hall is the product of an off-site levy and the rest of it is derived from the property taxes, it could happen with the new resident spending twice the amount. Ultimately leadership is looking for the most reasonable solution in order to ensure the benefits and costs are being looked at.

 

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

Why Edmonton Should Be Your Next Getaway

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Why Edmonton Should Be Your Next Getaway

 

Among all of the cities in Canada, it is highly recommended to visit Edmonton at least once. If you are making plans for your next trip, make sure it is to this quirky capital of Alberta. It is full of amazing features and numerous districts where you can get completely lost. Various beautiful places and some happening activities here are worth witnessing once in your life. Here are some of the fun and offbeat facts about Edmonton:

 

#1: The Hotels Offer Free Cheese & Wine

Who doesn’t love to enjoy some wine and cheese, especially complimentary? Well, everyone! So, sit down and grab a glass. It is the ultimate enjoyment, be it alone or even if people come and join you. When you are traveling, it is really fun to chat with other guests and locals over some wine and cheese. That’s something each and every hotel in the country should offer!

 

#2: There Are Many Festivals To Enjoy

There are some great festivals celebrated in Edmonton. One of them is the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, which is the second largest in the world. The entire day will be spent full of fun and enjoyment as you take a peak into other cultures. Apart from this, there are 60 major festivals celebrated throughout the year in Edmonton. Some of these are the Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival and the Blueberry Bluegrass & Country Music Festival in summer. Don’t forget the Edmonton Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival in the fall.

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#3: You Can Visit Ukraine In Edmonton

Yes, you read it right. You can enjoy the beauty and culture of Ukraine without having to leave Canada. One of the major highlights of Edmonton is its Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. There is a living museum that feature more than 40 buildings that can be dated back to pre 1930s. This was the time when there was a wave of Ukrainian immigration in Canada. The buildings are original, and there was also a grocery store from 1929 as well as a hotel from that time which used to cost $1 for a night back then. It will truly mesmerize you and take you back in time. It is a must see.

 

#4: Because of the Dark Sky Preserve

It is very thoughtful of the Canadian people to think up something like this. The Dark Sky Preserve is an area that is kept free of any type of pollution created by artificial lights. You can enjoy stargazing and full moon kayaking here in this preserve. The best place to visit for these experiences is Astotin Lake in Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve.

 

Apart from the four reasons above, there are many more fun and entertaining facts surrounding Edmonton. The best thing is that you can gorge or nibble like a royal, even on a budget. Also, try to experience El Cortez. It is a funky space where Mexican fusion meets art gallery. You may never get bored of visiting this place. It is full of enthusiasm and always has a lot to offer to the tourists. So, make sure that your next trip is to Edmonton in order to see all that it has to offer.

 

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

Approval Of Luxury Condo In Brander Gardens Concerns Residents

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Approval Of Luxury Condo In Brander Gardens Concerns Residents

City council has approved the controversial new luxury condo plan on the edge of the River Valley, despite protest from the residents. A group of people who call themselves Brander Gardens Rezoning Action Committee (BGRAC) expressed their dissatisfaction out of concern the development will aggravate the traffic situation in the area. The city council debated until 10 p.m. but finally voted in favor of the project.

The luxury condos will be constructed along the edge of the river valley, but the development will preserve ownership of the area below. At the moment, the land has only a single home on it. Brad Kennedy, the architect behind this project development, plans to move mature trees to pave way for the new structures and maintain privacy for the neighbors. The development is said to include a caveat that inhibits construction on anything below the ridge of the bank.

Council members considered delaying the decision, expressing fears the proposed condo complex would cut access to the valley. Councillor Ben Henderson, the only member to vote against the proposed development, said that was his primary concern. Developers plan to construct between four and six four-storey luxury condo buildings with underground parking.

Most of the land in question belongs to Dennis Modry, a cardiologist who performed Western Canada’s first heart transplant in 1985. Modry’s 7,500 square-foot house there went on the property market for $12.5 million three years ago. The new zoning designation, referred to as “site-specific development control” (DC2) will give the developer control over that area that was formerly zoned for single-family houses.

More than twenty-five residents from the community showed up to city hall to voice their opposition to the project, citing concerns about neighborhood character, traffic and erosion of the valley. Many residents are concerned the project could destabilize the slope, causing soil erosion. Residents also argue that the luxury condos won’t fit in with the area’s mostly 70s-era row homes. They say this will limit residents’ engagement with the neighborhood, and the added density will bring congestion to the area.

Barbara Koenig, who lives a few blocks from the proposed condos, said one of her neighbors was not allowed to install an underground sprinkler system on grounds that it may trigger erosion. Koenig says she is overly concerned that the developers plan to relocate mature trees will destabilize the slope into the river.

Hamid Namsechi, an area resident, said he looked up the area’s ambulance response times and found traffic can delay EMS ferrying patients by more than 14 minutes. Namsechi said the response time could be longer than it is quicker should the city council go ahead with the plan. Architect Brad Kennedy said his firm is making efforts to address the community’s concerns.

Brad says he has designed the whole plan around natural features and promised to screen the neighborhood with trees. He has also held several meetings for residents who wanted to examine development plans up close. Rather than cutting down trees, he has promised to relocate some to other areas of the property. The developer has also promised to donate $50,000 to the area’s league, and $50,000 to improve accessibility to the river valley.

 

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

Edmonton’s City Hall Passes Privacy Regulations for Infill Projects

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Edmonton’s City Hall Passes Privacy Regulations for Infill Projects

Privacy remains a concern for many. As many as 70% of Edmonton residents did not want the city hall to regulate how residents interacted with each other in mature neighborhoods, according to a survey. Somewhat inexplicably though, the city hall pushed ahead with its move to pass privacy bylaw amendments, in spite of the survey results pointing otherwise. The move is expected to ensure more privacy among households, so that there is greater privacy screening.

Among the proposals discussed, there was a rule passed that rooftop patios be pushed back by at least two meters if it is at the edge of the roof. The proposal aims to ensure that one cannot overlook his or her own backyard or neighbor’s house from their rooftop patio. The rooftop patio must also be around one meter back from the front of the house as well.

If you’re installing new decks, you may not be as lucky either. If the deck is installed one meter or more off the ground, regardless of whether it is in the back or side yard, you would need to have a privacy screening. The city hall, replying to the survey, stated that the results do not match what they have been hearing from residents for so long.

What does this mean for the infill projects?

The new bylaw amendments bring into perspective the different changes one can expect. For one, infill developers will have a lot more work to do than before. They need to check that the windows designed in two-story homes, located around two meters or less from the neighboring property line, fill the privacy screening requirements. Therefore, the development application needs to note all of these details. Additionally, developers would have to plan for bushes and trees accordingly, so that the neighbor’s privacy isn’t compromised.

It is the concern about privacy that is driving the move, according to Coun. Scott McKeen. People are more concerned about intrusion and complaints have been coming in for years, McKeen says. However, he does point out that certain measures could be reached, especially if the neighbors and developers can reach a compromise.

EDMONTON, AB. MARCH 18, 2016 - Infill houses under construction in Westmount community for story by Elise Stolte on urban densification. Shaughn Butts / POSTMEDIA NEWS NETWORK

What about the survey results?

When asked about the survey results pointing to as many as 70% residents not having concerns about privacy, Coun. Andrew Knack stated that the views from the past few years have been the opposite, with most people concerned about privacy. City officials, on the other hand, stated how few people responded to the privacy issue during the consultation period. In spite of advertisements in community newsletters and webpages, only a few responses and views were gathered, perhaps playing a part in the eventual decision by City Hall.

The survey, carried out by Insight Community, had interviewed as many as 3,079 Edmonton residents. And it was only 26% of the people who didn’t want neighboring houses and properties to be “allowed to look into other houses of yards in any circumstances.” Instead, nearly 70% responded that they did not want any privacy regulation, or that homeowners could achieve privacy themselves, without the need of any privacy regulation.

This, the respondents stated, could be done by putting in blinds and landscaping. And only around 29% believed that infill projected to have privacy screens, with 71% stating that homeowners could add in balcony walls and landscaping as needed.

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

Residential Housing in Edmonton Proving to Be Steady

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Residential Housing in Edmonton Proving to Be Steady

 

According to a recently released report by the Realtors Association of Edmonton, the average sale price for residential properties, including condos, row houses, and duplexes, was over $384,000 in July 2016. A significant increase was noted, with the prices soaring 3 percent higher than the same month last year. Figures released by the association also revealed that single-family homes marked a 3 percent increase from 2015, selling for over $450,000 in July. The association’s chairman, Steve Sedgwick, revealed that despite the slow-moving market, they are increasingly seeing strong and steady pricing throughout the region of Edmonton.

 

At the end of July, there were 8,047 residential properties on the market, which was an 11 percent increase compared to last year. In the Edmonton region, there was a 16 percent drop in residential property sales, with only 1515 units sold. This included a sales decrease of 16 percent in single-family homes and 25 percent in condo sales. However, there was a significant increase in the sales of duplexes and row houses, with the prices going up by 11 percent compared to July 2015.

 

 

Just like Edmonton, Calgary’s real estate market also experienced a downturn, with a 12.6 percent decrease in sales over the month of July. However, the city’s local real estate board revealed that the reduced number of listings largely contributed to a further price drop. According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, a total of 1,741 units were sold last month. The total sales for detached homes saw a drop, slightly less at 9.2 percent. However, with only 6,908 units sold this year, sales activity is currently at 22 percent, which is below the 10 -year average and the lowest since 1996.

 

In July, it took an average of 56 days for a property to sell in Edmonton, which was about 6 days longer compared to the same month last year. Single-family detached homes however sold quicker at 52 days while it took about 61 days to sell condos.

 

According to Sedgwick, the slowdown in unit sales in the month of July is typical, mainly because both May and June are the busiest months of the year when it comes to sales volume. Sedgwick also revealed that every year, they experience a traditional slowdown in both July and August, followed by an upward trend in September.

 

In Calgary, layoffs and people leaving the city have largely contributed to the pressure on the housing market, said Ann-Marie Lurie, a chief economist at Calgary Real Estate Board. The economist however revealed that a 10.2 percent drop in listings aided in the reduction of pressure exerted on prices.

 

There was also a 4.2 percent drop in the city’s overall benchmark price; the benchmark whose major responsibility is to represent the price of a typical home, from July 2015. For detached homes, the benchmark price was $502,300, which was a 3.4 percent drop from last year.

 

According to Lurie, forcing more people to sell would only contribute to more pressure on the prices. She also stated that considering the fact that they are in the second year of this cycle, the amount of impact will solely depend on how long the cycle will last.

 

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

Building Permits Decrease in Metro Edmonton

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Building Permits Decrease in Metro Edmonton

In the last quarter of 2015, the city of Edmonton experienced a significant drop in the number of active building projects with just $1.4 billion pulled in from building permits. This appears to be evidence that the construction boom that kept the city’s economy vibrant while much of the province suffered has officially cooled off.

The city raked in $1.8 billion in the same time frame in 2014, and the $400 million drop is a huge blow to the local economy. Commercial development has been a key driver for Edmonton, and while sliding oil prices damaged local economies in Fort McMurray and Calgary, Edmonton has been shielded to some extent thanks to an existing interest for commercial projects.

If the recent turn of events suggests an indefinite staling of commercial development, it could mean a further weakening scenario in the coming quarter and that spells trouble for local jobs. The most recent statistics show townhouse construction has dropped and according to local city-economist John Rose, the current economic conditions are a major growth deterrent.

 

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Both 2014 and 2015 were very productive for the housing sector, and especially for multi-family housing starts – however the city is going through a pullback in two main areas; the actual number of housing starts and also the value of existing building permits.

Apartments and townhouses have taken the biggest hit and according to Rose, the province simply isn’t recording new settlements as fewer people are moving into Edmonton. The value of permits taken out for the second quarter of 2016 is valued at $1 billion, and that represents a 48% reduction from the $2 billion seen in the first quarter.

Back in 2010, the local municipal released a development plan dubbed The Way We Grow, an ambitious project that set at least 25% of then-upcoming residential projects to be located in the downtown area and in the more mature neighborhoods. Six years later, only 14% of the plan has been realized (8,475 infill housing units) and subsequently this means that 86% of new housing projects in Edmonton may still be defined as suburban.

The brief run up in apartment and condo construction was a key source of income not just for the city but for a horde of developers and the like, all of whom have had to make inconvenient adjustments as they prepare to face similar challenges through 2017. It should be noted that South Edmonton hasn’t experienced any significant slowdown and construction is ongoing for quite a number of projects, however the downtown area will show signs of slowing down.

This reduction is mainly in regards to new construction, so we can expect ongoing projects to carry on for the moment. A few developments have been scheduled for 2016 and 2017, and unless things take a turn for the worst, there should be some type of construction work going on in the area.

 

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. had estimated a decline of housing starts by 195,000 this season, an indication that subtle signs of regression had been picked up across the board. There is a silver lining in all this: if and when things start to pick up, Rose suggests that the city won’t have an overload of product and the resultant price crash.

It’s always a serious concern particularly around Toronto and Vancouver where a deteriorating housing market left countless new houses without people to move in. However, Edmonton hasn’t seen such a situation yet.

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/