Progress at Dorchester Ranch continues under new developer

Phase 1 to be completed early 2018

The property has seen development challenges in the past, but work on the Dorchester Ranch Resort project near Pigeon Lake is back on track, as the project is now under construction by Orchestrate Inc.

Orchestrate Inc. has replaced Mountain Shores Land Ventures on the project, following the County of Wetaskiwin placing a stop order on Dorchester Ranch Phase 1, freezing the escrow account and halting work on the site.

In 2013, $6.5 million was placed in escrow for the project. Eventually $3.5 million was removed, leaving $3 million in escrow.

The County of Wetaskiwin provided a notice of default — part of the original agreement — informing the developer more money was needed in the escrow account to finish the project. According to county assistant CAO Rod Hawken, no additional money was ever provided.

“We are very excited to be investing in and revitalizing the newly re-branded Dorchester Ranch Resort,” stated a press release provided by Orchestrate Inc.

Orchestrate Inc. signed a development agreement with the county at the end of August, 2017, for the development project.

“Construction for completing Phase 1 is in progress. We anticipate that we will finish paving the interior roads in early 2018,” stated the press release.

George Roseboom, president of Orchestrate Inc., says in addition to completing work needed for phase 1 a review of the infrastructure in place was needed.

“You typically camera the sanitation system … there was more repairs there than normal,” said Roseboom. Orchestrate Inc. had the roads dug up to replace the sewer system.

“We’ve had to adjust some elevation, the grades of the road,” said Roseboom.

Orchestrate Inc. works to provide innovative solutions in asset recovery, to see land development projects through to completion.

“We view ourselves as problem solvers. We’ll review developments that are stalled,” said Roseboom.

In the case of the Dorchester Ranch Resort, Roseboom says the goal was to address the issues facing all parties involved through strategic development.

This included the lot owners who had already invested in the resort. The lot owners were living with mud roads when a proposed amenity of the development was paved roads, said Roseboom. “For them there was no end in sight.”

“We’re able to fulfill that promise for them,” he added.

Once paving of Phase 1 is complete a re-opening event will be held for the community.

amelia.naismith@pipestoneflyer.ca

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