Eisner keeps on developing despite downturn in economy
VALLEY - Being a developer for the past 20 years has taught Ken Eisner lots about the economy.
Especially that since central Nova Scotia doesn't experience the highs some of Canada's central and western provinces do, we don't see the extreme lows either.
That's why, despite the world's economic recession, the 59-year-old Valley resident is developing a new $1 million subdivision in Valley to be called Wexford.
"The thing with these projects is they take years to complete," said Eisner, president of Saywood Developments, who are teamed with Don Groves & Sons Construction to build the subdivision. "You can't just stop and start them so when the economy takes a downturn you have to predict if it will be bad enough and I don't think this one is."
The 36-acre development will feature 70 lots ranging from 14,000 to 38,000 square feet and $35,000 to $40,000. Although most of the subdivision, which branches off College Road, will be for families and residents in the 30-to-50-year-old category, 18 lots will be designated for higher-end homes for residents 50 and older that will feature similar designs, special lighting on the street and all electrical wiring will be run underground.
"They are doing this in Florida, Toronto so if they are doing it there we better be ready to do it here," Eisner said. "It's like anything else out there, what's going on in other parts eventually comes here."
And Eisner's subdivision isn't the only one being developed in Valley. There is also another project under construction on Burris Drive that will connect to Lexington. Developer Lee Hutt is expecting 37 lots there.
In spite of the world economy, Eisner said there is a demand for land to build new homes in the area. "
All the trades people I need to do the work are busy with other jobs too," he said.
"I have been doing this a long time and you always need land to sell. It's like Sobeys needing bread on the shelf."
That demand is evident when you travel through the development as crews have already started construction on one home.
"My phone has been ringing," he said. "People are talking and talking leads to commitments and commitments lead to sales."
So far this fiscal year, the county has issued 64 building permits for residential homes totalling more than $12 million. It has also approved alterations to 66 homes.
Over the same period in 2008, 85 building permits were issued for more than $15 million.
Eisner is no stranger to such projects. He developed the Saywood and Osprey Ridge subdivisions in Bible Hill; Ice Pond Drive in Salmon River; Lexington, also in Valley,
and he's currently developing another in Barrachois.
Eisner said one reason development has continued in the area is because property can be acquired for less than in surrounding counties, coupled with other recent investments from the government like new schools.
"There are wonderful school systems, great water to drink, the tax rate is fair and it's a stable environment," he said. "Life is pretty good in Valley, Bible Hill."