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With an impressive portfolio positioned to meet and accelerate development based on market demand, St. Albert’s Boudreau Communities is committed to the vision of a city where it is possible to live a better quality of life. This vision calls for creativity, imagination, and expertise. It means breaking new ground, being open to change, and creating a more sustainable and inclusive urban environment. Focusing on master planned communities, Boudreau’s inspirational vision helps residents discover new ways to experience life. CEO Dave Haut joins us to discuss their core values, upcoming projects, and their commitment to the Live-Work-Play lifestyle
Q. THE CONCEPT OF CREATING LIVE-WORK-PLAY COMMUNITIES IS NOT NEW. FOR ANYONE STILL NOT SOLD ON THE CONCEPT, WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MIXED-USED COMMUNITIES?
It really is about living a better quality of life. There’s such a vibrancy to mixed-use communities when you can blend residential, business, and retail in a pedestrian-friendly environment. Europe has done a great job with their usage of mixed-use communities, and we wanted to bring that same vibrancy and excitement here to Edmonton. We want people to have pride in where they live.
As a developer, I truly believe that master-planned communities are more stable, and they weather the real estate cycle better than traditional single or multi-family homes. Many buyers are looking for walkable, urban neighbourhoods with a mix of uses and open space. Millennials gravitate towards urban areas where they can have that live-work-play all in one place.
With mixed-use buildings promoting walkability, they essentially reduce the risk of, and need for, automobiles to drive to work, the store, and to entertainment options. As a result, mixed-use buildings promote positive environmental impacts by reducing the carbon footprints in cities. They also benefit the local economy. Businesses are drawn to live-work-play locations because they become hubs of activity.
View Q&A with Dave Haut
ST. ALBERT, ALBERTA
GO Resilient Canada
Industry: Flooring & Matting
“Some developers have a lock-it-and-leave it attitude. We don’t.”
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR CORE VALUES THAT SET THE STANDARD AND SHAPE THE CULTURE AT BOUDREAU COMMUNITIES?
Our better way to live philosophy is to create communities where each live is lived to the fullest, and our core values reflect that and build on each other. We’re committed to our clients, partners, locations, and how we build. A key core value we have is take 100% responsibility for what we do. Good or bad. The ability to accept personal responsibility is one of the most important skills a team can have. Since we are the owners on our projects, we want to make sure we’re building to the quality standards that our clients and community expect.
From there you build on that foundation, and it leads to another core value of establishing trust. Trust serves as a foundational component of a healthy and well work environment. I’ve always been a big team guy, and I think we have a great place to work. We all come from different backgrounds and have different abilities, and we engage and trust one each other that builds better productivity and engagement. Our business partnerships are built on trust and mutual value as well. We’re onsite always collaborating with our building partners. A lot of developers have a lock-it-and-leave it attitude. We don’t.
Q. TRUST IS ALSO ESTABLISHED WITH YOUR CLIENTS. A BETTER CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE CAN TURN CLIENTS INTO BRAND ADVOCATES. HOW ARE YOU OPTIMIZING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE?
The first we do is listen to our clients. Communication is key to building strong relationships so we make it clear that we will work with our clients to develop value statements that align with their lifestyle.
As an example, home buyers today want to maximize every square inch of their living space. Since we were the first developer to build a live-work-play community in St. Albert with our Botanica development, we listened to what our clients wanted. Originally, we designed the standard 1000 sq. ft. units. Turns out more and more buyers were reserving and requesting larger units.
We pivoted our approach and changed the layout of the suites to be 1500-1800 sq ft, with large 500-2000 sq. ft. balconies with their own natural gas and hose bibs so clients can enjoy the views and entertain family and friends. When you listen to your clients, it helps you understand your product better.
Another goal we take seriously is to be available for our clients. We keep clients informed of progress, answer any questions in a timely manner and are clear and transparent about what they can expect in the final product. A great thing that separates us from other developers is that we have 6-8 different finish packages that our clients can choose from. If the client wants to make customizations by mixing packages like upgrading their flooring design options or lighting systems, adding a different backsplash, or add a sink in the laundry room, we accommodate as much as we can.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR ARCHITECTURAL APPROACH WHEN DESIGNING A NEW COMMUNITY?
Architects these days tend to lean towards the more modern, but we’re quite traditional in our designs and overall architectural approach. Modern buildings usually use a lot of glass and steel, while traditional architecture relies on the use of materials like brick, stone, and wood. It’s an arm-wrestling match to find a happy medium, but ultimately, we want to design and build homes we would want to live in. At the end of the day, it’s the structure of the building that counts the most. This creates a sense of community and connection to the past, which helps the area maintains its traditional look and feel for the residents of the community.