Builders gripped it and ripped it Wednesday. But instead of golf swings, they drove golden shovels into the ground.
So began the 41st annual Parade of Homes, the yearly housing showcase that this year will usher in an upscale, gated subdivision near the greens and fairways of Camas Meadows Golf Club.
At what is called The Parklands at Camas Meadows, more than 40 custom homes and a handful of commercial buildings are planned.
Home prices start above $900,000 and range in size from 3,000 to 5,000 square feet. Over half of the lots are already sold, real estate broker Heather DeFord said.
“I think we can’t build them fast enough in all of the price brackets,” she said. “With the population growing the way it is, we need more. We need more lots.”
Seven builders will make 10 luxury homes open to the public for the parade Sept. 7 through 23.
One such buyer is Camas Mayor Scott Higgins, who greeted the crowd huddled under a tent to avoid the morning rain. He welcomed the event back to Camas for the first time since 2002 and joked that the weather, usually, is more than welcoming.
“I don’t know what happened,” he said. “Normally, it’s 70 degrees and sunny every day.”
Higgins, who first became mayor in 2011, bought a 17,000-square-foot lot for $300,000 in December, according to Clark County property records.
Camas staff members said landing the Parade of Homes was a sign of growth for the city. Camas recently surpassed 23,000 residents and is expected to keep growing.
Still, homes are not being built as fast as they were before the recession, said Phil Bourquin, community development director.
Tracy Doriot, a Washington-based builder of custom homes, commended the staff for being prompt and accommodating to developers.
“It’s a smaller operation, and their permitting is a little more streamlined,” he said.
The Parade of Homes the past several years has been hosted by Ridgefield, among the fastest-growing cities in the state. Washougal hosted before that, according to Avaly Scarpelli, executive director of the Building Industries Association of Clark County.