Parade of Homes starts Friday

Five newly built homes in Felida are part of event

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter


photoThe main entry of The Nantucket, an East Coast-style house, includes a curved staircase that took 14 days to build.

(/The Columbian)

If you go

What: The 2013 NW Natural Parade of Homes, a tour of model houses meant to highlight innovative construction.

When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday through July 28 (closed Mondays and Tuesdays).

Where: Bella Ridge subdivision, Northwest 50th Avenue and 129th Circle, Vancouver.

Cost: $12 for adults and children 13 and older; free for children 12 and younger.

Tickets and information:

The housing industry is on the mend, giving Clark County builders a reason to strut their stuff at the Building Industry Association of Clark County's 2013 NW Natural Parade of Homes, which starts Friday.

The event includes five newly built, showcase homes — landscaped and fully decorated — in a gated Felida-area neighborhood called Bella Ridge. It also features a self-guided open house tour of 20 new homes. The event is the culmination of months of work executed by approximately 200 general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, according to Jim Beriault, a spokesman for the approximately 535-member Building Industry Association of Clark County, which sponsors the show.

He said builders are encouraged by the breadth of this year's event, with showcase homes priced from $650,000 to $950,000. The market for higher-priced custom-built homes is on the rebound, said Scott Benedetti, a Parade of Homes builder from Axiom Luxury Homes. He feels fortunate the company landed on its feet as the nation — and Clark County — emerged from the worst housing downturn in years.

"Last year, we only built five houses," Benedetti said. He expects to double that number this year with new houses like his Parade entry, The Nantucket.

Designed in East Coast "Hamptons-style" fashion, the $750,000 house features a second-floor turret and a shingled exterior with tapered columns and decorative corbels. The home's interior is laced with custom woodwork and trim, such as wainscotting, built-in shelving and seating, tray ceilings and a curved interior staircase.

"The staircase took 14 days to build," Benedetti said.

The 52-lot Bella Ridge subdivision was approved during the last housing peak by another developer and acquired by a partnership of local developers about two years ago, according to Patrick Ginn, a co-developer of the project and broker with The Hasson Co.'s Vancouver office.

"There's a total of eight Parade of Homes sites," Ginn said, including one under construction that is not part of the event and two lots available. The sites overlook west-side views of Vancouver Lake and its green space, land owned and preserved by the state of Washington.

Most of the other Bella Ridge subdivision sites are already spoken for and under construction, according to Ginn, who hadn't expected the lots to sell out until 2017.

"It's going to be great for the public to see the level of building activity (at the home show). I think it's really good for the industry," said Ginn, a representative of three of the five Parade of Homes models. Just one Parade entry -- the $949,000 Casa Cresta -- is still for sale. The Spanish-style home was built by Bella Villa Homes and features a gourmet kitchen and great room with hand-scraped hardwood flooring and an underground wine cellar.

Other Parade models include Bella Villa Homes models Bella Casa, with a featured stone-faced fireplace flanked by floor-to-ceiling bookcases, and Bella Chateau, which includes a master bedroom sanctuary with a spa bath. Homebuilding Cascade West Development also constructed a Parade entry called The Halstad, which features luxurious living space and modern decor.

Beriault said the industry hopes this year's event will draw everyone from potential homebuyers to idea-seekers looking for the latest in home design and decor.

"This is to show the best of the best and promote new homes," he said.

Beriault said the Parade entries add significantly to the local economy, generating approximately $1.75 million in payroll. He said each home contributes about $9,000 in impact and permit fees to Clark County and between $14,000 and $18,000 per home in real estate excise tax. This year's Parade of Homes also generated between $62,000 and $75,000 in sales tax, according to Beriault.

"We're talking about an important part of the economy," he said.