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Owners of cottages at TreeTops at Hidden Valley get a membership to the ski club.
Owners of cottages at TreeTops at Hidden Valley get a membership to the ski club.

On Site: These Muskoka condos go heavy on the amenities Add to ...

TREETOPS AT HIDDEN VALLEY

LOCATION: Huntsville, Ont.

DEVELOPER: Club Leisure

SIZE: 1,023 to 1,592 square feet

PRICE: $279,900 to $464,900

SALES CENTRE: 1 TreeTops Lane, off Deerhurst Drive in Huntsville. OpenThursday to Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

CONTACT: 1-855-784-9990 or visit treetopshuntsville.com

As a long-time cottager and condo-suite owner at Deerhurst Resort, developer Ad Marco believes he has an intimate understanding of how buyers want to spend their limited time and resources in Muskoka.

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So he is creating a collection of maintenance-free, luxury residences in the wooded hillside of a ski club – just steps from a lake, resort and golf course – and priced a less than half a million dollars each.

“Rather than create everything from scratch, we went into the middle of an area with all the amenities you can think of,” says Mr. Marco, who is a partner at Club Leisure.

“So the dollar per square foot is on average $270 to $280 [whereas neighbouring] new units are running up to $400 plus.”

The 12-acre project, called TreeTops at Hidden Valley, will encompass 120 suites distributed within 13 buildings on surplus land at Hidden Valley Highlands ski area, overlooking Peninsula Lake and Deerhurst Lakeside Golf Course.

“People that come in, you can be quiet, comfortable and peaceful overlooking the views, but you can also be as active as you want,” says Mr. Marco, who notes monthly fees averaging $573 will include utilities, operating an on-site clubhouse and pool, and membership fee to the ski club.

“People can ski in and ski out, and that’s not common at all.”

In addition, residents will be across the road from restaurants and a spa at Deerhurst Resort, and a short drive to shops, theatre and hospital in downtown Huntsville.

“The town is also rich with facilities built and provided for G8 [summit in 2010],” Mr. Marco notes. “[Plus] there is an active arts community there.”

Each season will bring a wide range of activities, from sailing and swimming to snowmobiling and skating, as well as a change of scenery.

“Muskoka is a lovely part of the world,” Mr. Marco says. “As we went up on the hill, it’s amazing how the views are.You overlook the roof of other buildings, so you can see the lake even from areas not directly on the escarpment.”

A model suite in the first building showcases Bryon Patton’s mix of natural stone and wood finishes with contemporary conveniences, such as stainless steel appliances, floating bathroom vanities and radiant heated floors.

Next year, occupancy begins for phase two – a trio of three-level structures with 24 two- and three-bedroom units with open principal rooms.

“They look like a home rather than a big apartment building,” says Mr. Marco, and will include outdoor parking, but offer garages for $35,000. “[Normally] in this area … it’s all outdoor parking.”

Residents will reap financial and health benefits of many environmentally friendly and energy- and water-saving features, as well as geothermal heating and cooling systems.

“An owner buying into our unit will find they know exactly what their bill will be in the 10th year and 11th month, since the cost will only increase 2.5 per cent [annually],” says Mr. Marco, who was shocked other major energy suppliers recently hiked rates by 40 per cent.

“This was the worse winter you could think of and it was the best for us because [the geothermal systems] worked beautifully. You go in and it’s even temperature throughout.”

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