“I said damn the torpedoes, we’re going to go full steam ahead and I wanted to be ready in 2017 to have homes built on this property and have the retail sector underway,” says Williams, president and CEO of DewCor.
True to his word, on a rainy Wednesday afternoon in June, Williams and his partners, along with a parade of contractors, unveiled the first fully completed home in the 2,400-acre master plan community.
“We’ve now got to a point where we’ve got vertical construction going on, which is a big deal because now people can actually see the fruits of our labour,” Williams said.
In addition to the first home, which will serve as a model home and information centre, a further 11 are already under construction, with another nine to be started next week, bringing the total number ready for the grand opening of Galway in September to 20.
Some of the current homes under construction sport price tags of $560,000 to $650,000.
There are also long-term plans for townhouses, apartment buildings, condos, and retirement buildings and residences for seniors. Williams calls it a multi-purpose community.
“It’s not going to be a million-dollar-plus gated community. Yeah, there’ll be some nice executive homes in here, but there’ll be something for absolutely everybody.”
The plan is for Galway to have approximately 2,000 homes over the next 20 years.
Also getting underway this summer will be the 6.2-acre Village Green park, which is set to include walking trails, manicured gardens, a playground and an amphitheatre.
As for whether or not Williams will reside in Galway, that decision has yet to be made.
“As I head into my retirement, I could very easily be living in Galway,” Williams said. “That’s a decision I’m going to make with my wife.”
Williams is in for $100 million on the development and doesn’t expect to see any return on his investment for a decade. But the money, he says, is immaterial.
“I’m pumping this in as a legacy project because I want to do something right for the province and for the community. I want to leave something behind where people say that was really done well and done right.”
As for an update on details regarding Costco’s arrival in Galway, the anchor tenant of the community’s shopping district, Williams says they’re finalizing engineering in anticipation of putting construction permit applications before the city within the next two months.
Also on Wednesday, St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe and members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment joined Williams for the unveiling of the road sign for Beaumont Hamel Way, one of Galway’s main thoroughfares.