Home Month and Year April 2022 Developing Land While Cultivating Communities

Developing Land While Cultivating Communities

Landrex celebrates 50 years

Photo by Rebecca Lippiatt

Since 1972, Landrex has been the locally owned and operated land development company that built a brand based on the power of dedication, hard work and an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing.

To date, Landrex has developed thousands of residential lots and multi-family units, as well as over a million square feet of commercial property. Although the focus is the Greater Edmonton area, Landrex has been pleased to participate in projects around the world, including Dubai, Germany, Hawaii and California. Locally, Landrex’s impact is seen in the residential communities of Erin Ridge North, Windsor Pointe, Forest Heights and Fenwyck, to name just a few.

Garry Wetsch is Landrex’s corporate advisor and a long-time friend of founder Larry Andrews.

“Larry liked to play games, to be challenged,” says Wetsch. “Land development is like snakes and ladders; up and down. He went into it because it was challenging, required a lot of skill and is fun.”

There have been, indeed, plenty of ups and downs, moves and counter moves in the 50 years of Landrex’s operation. Highlights include hiring the first employees, the first office on Whyte Avenue and the relocation to St. Albert, “a move that signified Landrex’s jump from a project developer to a full-on land developer.” 

According to Wetsch, each move and each development is strategic. “What helps set Landrex apart is the team’s ability to think ahead by securing good inventory of prime real estate. When we bought land in St. Albert, for example, it was sat on for a long time before we developed it.”

The Landrex strategy involves a heavy concentration on Edmonton’s satellite communities as opposed to building up the downtown core.

“We know how to operate in smaller communities, and we enjoy doing it,” confirms Wetsch.

He also notes that “land development is not for the faint of heart.” Over the past 50 years, the industry has been subjected to fluctuating interest rates, market crashes and changing legislation. As Alberta crawled out of the oil crash, COVID-19 changed all the rules – again. Yet, Landrex is still growing and building. Why? Because the team is comprised of visionaries who see the big picture, take calculated risks and know when to move their game piece forward and when to hold back.

For example, in 2015, Andrews decided not to create new inventory because he could sense that the market was flooded. He was right to hold back. 

“Landrex believes in planning today for tomorrow while recognizing that there are external factors we cannot control,” says Wetsch.

In the past, there was reason for holding back; these days, it’s all about moving forward. Landrex is thrilled to be changing the landscape of St. Albert with its development in Erin Ridge North, to be adding residential homes for families in Fort Saskatchewan’s Windsor Pointe, to add to the elegance of Sherwood Park by building up Sherwood Golf and Country Club Estates and to be giving families a beautiful residential option, thanks to the Westwinds development in Morinville.

Wetsch says, “All these developments offer an array of amenities, such as ponds, trails, dog parks, landscaped municipal reserve areas and nearby commercial amenities. Landrex makes sure we keep as much of the natural landscape as possible when developing our residential communities by retaining trees and other natural features.”

On the commercial side, Landrex is pleased to have completed the extensive interior and exterior renovations at Summit Centre in St. Albert. This move-in ready medical space comes with an incentive package and is conveniently located across from the Sturgeon Community Hospital. Meanwhile, in St. Albert, Erin Ridge Pointe is ready for possession this spring. Sitting north of Costco and close to big box retailers (Lowe’s, Honda, HomeSense), this development is unique. In addition to being the perfect fit (and location) for fitness, retail, salons and dining, there is an option for a rooftop patio. 

In both residential and commercial developments, Landrex pays close attention to walkability and access to amenities. It’s all about focusing on ideal conditions for living/working/playing while leveraging indoor and outdoor spaces to their full potential. 

Community building, for Landrex, is not limited to commercial and residential development. Giving back is part of the brand’s DNA. Since 1990, Landrex has been an integral part of the Boys and Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters’ fundraising efforts. Additionally, Landrex has donated millions in gifts and sponsorships to a variety of interests, including but not limited to: $1 million to the University of Alberta for the Landrex Distinguished Professorship in the Faculty of Arts; $1 million to the University of Alberta for the Peter Lougheed Leadership College in the Faculty of Arts; $500,000 to the Betty Andrews Recital Hall at MacEwan University (named for Larry Andrew’s mother); sponsorship of the Recreation Pavilion at Dow Centennial Centre, the Water Play Centre at Servus Credit Union Place, the Fenwyck Fitness Complex and many more.

In 2020, Andrews was inducted into the Alberta Business Hall of Fame, following other recognitions that include the Business Leader Canada’s Volunteer Award (2016), the President’s Award sponsored by the Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation (2012), St. Albert Chamber of Commerce Chair’s Award of Distinction (2013) and an Alberta Centennial Medal (2005). 

Andrews has played the game well for 50 years – and he has no intention of stopping now. The plan for 2022 onwards is one of growth and expansion. 

“We are in a transition phase and it’s an exciting time to be a part of Landrex,” says Wetsch. 

Current and future plans include 250+ single family lots, 90,000+ square feet of commercial construction, 450+ multi-family units and 120+ assisted living units. Future planning includes one of Landrex’s most exciting developments to date – Urban Village, a 50 per cent part ownership between Landrex and Fort McKay First Nation.

A mix of residential, commercial and mixed-use buildings, Urban Village’s first phase starts this year with 194 luxury rental units. The next phase is also slated for 2022; 126 assisted living units. In 2023, the final phase of luxury suites and commercial office space begin. 

Wetsch concludes, “Landrex is a land developer that is always looking to be better. If there’s a better way of doing things, the attitude is, ‘let’s try it.’”

Learn more and keep up with the exciting new developments at www.landrex.com and on social media (@landrex_inc on Instagram and Twitter, landrexInc on Facebook and Landrex-inc on LinkedIn).

220 Summit Plaza
190 Boudreau Road
St. Albert, AB T8N 6B9
Phone: (780) 459-LAND