Your first drive through Southlands Village may come as a surprise. The impressive custom bungalow homes, a fluid stretch of perfect lawns, and your first glimpse of the naturalized wetland may have you thinking you’ve escaped to a resort.
Southlands Village is located down Henderson Highway just past the north perimeter in East St. Paul. While barely a hint of traffic can be heard throughout the lushly landscaped and treed neighbourhood, what you will hear are birds chirping.
"One of the nicest surprises we’ve discovered here is the abundance of wildlife," says Barb Rose, a resident who moved to Southlands Village in 2014. "I especially love the wetlands, but a lot of people don’t realize what role they play in the area." Rose has learned they provide more than just a scenic view, acting as a drainage system for excess water and as a home for attractive wildlife.
Natural beauty isn’t the only perk of Southlands Village. When Larry Davey and his wife relocated here 18 months ago, they quickly realized just how much more freedom they had. "We can drop everything and head out to the cabin without any worries or hassles, and we can expect to come home to a yard that has been well groomed and maintained."
Davey is especially impressed with the maintenance services and modest common element fees, especially when it comes to snow removal. "In most instances, they are here in the early hours of the morning and clean our driveways, walkways and streets," says Davey. "Getting through the winter is much easier than we’d anticipated."
Gerry Barron agrees, having lived in Southlands Village with his wife for five years. "People need to understand the concept of bareland condo living, and that it’s not the typical condo style living," Barron explains. "You control the dwelling you live in and have complete ownership, except that the condominium board is responsible for the land. So everything looks consistent, fresh, and clean."
The concept offers residents with a turnkey lifestyle – all without having to compromise on the distinct style, quality or luxury they want in their home. Custom builders Maric, Irwin and Arlt design the homes in Southlands Village Pritchard Farm to fit the shape and location of each lot, as well as the needs and aesthetic of each homebuyer. The result is a community like no other in Manitoba, all set in a stunning location with easy access in and out of the city, and to nearby shopping, entertainment and recreation.
Jason Arlt of Arlt Homes has not only built custom houses for residents in the area, he’s also chosen to call Southlands Village home. Arlt bought into the concept of Southlands Village because it uniquely combined the benefits of condo living with the luxury of a custom built home. "The design of the home is based around the resident with the community surroundings in mind," says Arlt. "There’s a consistent flow – from the size of the bungalows, to the landscaping, to the streetscapes."
Having grown up in North Kildonan, he originally considered the neighbourhood for the great location, but came to appreciate the sense of community. "Living here is comforting, and you get this surprising, overwhelming feeling when you come to the neighbourhood," says Arlt. "At the end of the day, it just feels like home to me."
Rose too described a strong feeling of belonging when she and her husband first visited Southlands Village. "We had an aha moment," she said. "That intuitive feeling that we’d found what we were looking for and had been trying to capture all along."