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At the time, the demand was there. Today, it still continues.
Thirty-five years ago, in 1988, a group of individuals saw a need in the home-building market for affordable homes in Calgary.
That led to its first homes, which were constructed in the northeast Calgary community of Martindale. Those homes, the majority of them split-levels, became the starting point for Excel Homes’ future trajectory.
Just under 10 years later, the company would expand into Edmonton building in the southeast community of The Meadows. Airdrie would come online in 2006, and then Cochrane in 2013. Now, Excel has built more than 14,000 homes in more than 80 communities.
Excel grew rapidly after it first opened, designing five models that quickly passed the market test through solid sales, said Kristina Plank, the home builder’s marketing manager.
“Only one year after opening, in 1989, Excel won its first Award of Excellence in affordable housing for its Cameron, an 880-square-foot, split-level floor plan,” added Plank. “In 1992, we had developed our first community and by 1997, we expanded into the Edmonton market. By 2007, we committed to a new initiative of building Built Green homes.”
Over the past 35 years, Plank said Excel has seen highs and lows and overcome diverse challenges that pushed them to grow.
“We have learned to adapt to the constant fluctuation of the economy and rebuilt after many natural disasters,” said Plank. “In 2019, we took a big step with new leadership that has allowed us to refine our company mission and vision. The home building industry as a whole has faced unprecedented times of the global pandemic that caused a trickle effect of supply chain and labour issues. The pandemic also changed the way families live in their homes. A home has become a place for work, schooling, gym, entertainment and so much more. These lifestyle changes in family dynamics led to new floor plans and changes in our home designs.
“Lastly, we have also seen an influx of people migrating to Alberta over the past year, creating a high demand for new homes. This has presented us with many opportunities to grow and improve our processes and homes.”
Currently building single-family homes including front-drive garage homes, laned homes and duplexes, Excel is celebrating by unveiling commemorative anniversary home models throughout 2023.
“The interest has been fantastic,” said Plank of the anniversary models that include new and improved standard specifications. “Some are exclusive to Calgary, like The Bennett that we’re building in Homestead, while others such as The Lakeview model have drawn immense interest in Edmonton. Our anniversary models are designed with 35 years of customer feedback and experience in the home building industry.”
At 2,045 square feet, the Bennett is a home designed to grow with you.
A three-bedroom house with two-and-a-half bathrooms, this anniversary model wasn’t the first choice for Mc Berth Hooper but he and his family soon realized it offered them everything they were looking for. It also ended a year-long home search.
A flex room off the entrance can be utilized as an office space or converted into an extra bedroom. A mudroom leads to the pantry and enters into the open-concept kitchen with an island that flows into a bright nook and a spacious great room. Upstairs, there’s a bonus room, laundry room and the three bedrooms.
Looking for more space than where they’re currently living — the family will be moving in around December and staying in the northeast — Hooper said owning the first Bennett in Homestead adds a special feeling, especially since when they bought earlier this year they were the only ones to have such a home there.
They’re tailoring their Bennett to include six bedrooms. The main floor flex room will be one, and in addition to the three upstairs, the basement is being finished and will include two more bedrooms. Hooper also likes that the bonus space upstairs could work as a computer area for the kids.
To celebrate its 35th anniversary, Excel is offering a $3,500 price reduction on all its home models, as well as an increased amount of $3,500 when a referral results in a friends and family purchase.
“We are thrilled to celebrate our 35th year of creating communities and homes for Albertan families and extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped us achieve this milestone,” said Sean Nolan, president and CEO of Excel Homes and the APEX Group of Companies. “We are continuing to learn, grow, innovate and evolve and are well positioned to be a leader in Western Canada, serving past and future families for years to come.”
Meanwhile, Excel opened five new show homes in August, in Livingston, in the northwest. It has also started pre-sales in its newest community, the southwest’s Silverado — Silver Spruce.