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Business briefs: 1st garage suite approved in St. Albert

Home sweet home When Mayor Cathy Heron slammed a sledgehammer into the side of an old garage, she smashed the way towards a new future.
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DOESN’T THAT FEEL GOOD – St. Albert Mayor Cathy Heron, left, and homeowner Caroline Tuttle unleash their sledgehammers on the outside of Tuttle’s decommissioned garage on Thursday. Builder Uban Mews Designs will construct a new hybrid garage-suite structure on the site. It will be the first of its kind in St. Albert.

Home sweet home

When Mayor Cathy Heron slammed a sledgehammer into the side of an old garage, she smashed the way towards a new future.

On Thursday, Heron joined homeowners Caroline and Mark Tuttle as they announced the first garage suite to be built in St. Albert.

Once built, the building will feature a two-garage unit with a spacious suite on the second floor. The suite will have a bedroom, kitchen and living space, and will be used primarily as an art studio for Caroline.

“I’ll be doing some painting,” she said. “We’re excited about utilizing the space in our yard.”

In February, council decided to allow both garage and garden suites in St. Albert. Prior to the meeting only basement suites were permitted.

Heron said Thursday that suites would broaden the amount of affordable housing in St. Albert, while allowing families to age in place or downsize.

“We allowed below-grade basement suites, so why wouldn’t we allow above-grade suites?” she asked.

Urban Mews, the builder behind the suite, was on site with drawings of the proposed building. The actual demolition of the garage will take place on Tuesday.

“This is exciting. The mayor and council made a wise decision allowing for this to happen,” said Thomas Lukaszuk, managing director of Urban Mews.

The company specializes in garage and garden suites. The suites can be used as extra space for activities, a livable place for family members or a source of extra income as a rental property.

Lukaszuk said a common concern shared among people inquiring about the suites is how affordable they are. He said many think that building a suite is an expensive task.

In order to quell those concerns, he said builders will sit down and talk through materials, design and cost, making it as affordable as they can.

“When people realize how much they actually cost, they say, ‘Hey, this is actually not bad.’ ”

Heron said so far the new suite is the only permit of its kind that has come through the city’s planning and development department.

Two birds, one stone

A-1 Heating and One Hour Plumbing have partnered together to provide both electrical and plumbing services.

The two companies will retain their names while working in the same building at 190 Carleton Drive.

Curtis Crouse, owner of A-1 Heating, said it was a good move for the business.

“We are so excited,” he said. “Mostly that now we can say yes to whatever customers need.”

Previously any calls that came in that had to do with plumbing would be passed on to another company. Now when a customer calls, the business will send over a technician from either company who can best meet the need.

Some of the services offered by the two companies are furnace, air conditioner and humidifier repairs, installations, furnace and duct cleaning, gas and BBQ line hookups and more.

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Dayla Lahring

About the Author: Dayla Lahring

Dayla Lahring joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2017. She writes about business, health, general news and features. She also contributes photographs.
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