THE COTTAGES OF COALMONT ~ Interview with Tom Faliszewski

Wanting to learn a little more about the Coalmont Cottages I originally contacted Murray Wood of Silverado Investments who suggested that I talk with Tom Faliszewski. Tom is the designer of the project and, as it turns out, is the one we often see here working on the first of the Coalmont Cottages.

I spoke with Tom and he was kind enough to give me a tour of the building. There is no doubt that it will be a very desirable dwelling. The emphasis is on wood, including both inside and outside walls. Whether it is to one’s personal taste or not, you’d certainly have to admit that the design is professional.

Still, I was more interested in the human aspects. I wanted to know a little about the project itself and how it might effect the community. Here then is a short interview with Tom Faliszewski:

NCC: What is your involvement with this project?

TF: As you mentioned, I am the designer of the Cottages of Coalmont. My wife and I are also the owners of the property through our company called TSDF Consultants Limited. The former owners of the old Works Yard Site, Hullcar Hydraulic Corp., are now no longer involved in the property.

NCC: How do you see the project progressing in the next few months?

TF: I am planning on completing this first cottage and to use it as a show home. We have 2 additional buyers who have committed so far for cottages and I am hoping that I can get through all of the hoops, paperwork and engineering that is required to be able to start the construction of those 2 homes by the end of the summer. The original planners of Coalmont obviously figured that people could live in homes that would fit on small, compact lots in a way that didn’t use too much in the way of resources or space. And so I would also like to demonstrate that it is possible to actually build an interesting and comfortable home on a small lot and that we don’t all have to live in 3 or 4 thousand square foot homes to have happy and interesting lives. That said, it won’t be possible to construct homes on every one of the individual lots because of the many requirements around things such as water wells and septic dispersal fields.

NCC: What kind of people do you envision buying one of the cottages? How do you think they’ll fit in?

TF: I imagine that most of the buyers will be families with perhaps 2 or 3 children who would like to be able to get away from their hectic lives and just spend time together as a family. The Coalmont area has a lot of really nice recreational possibilities and so I think that families will find that very attractive. The 2 buyers that we have so far, however, both live in downtown Vancouver high-rise condominium towers. They are creative and busy executives who see Coalmont as the ideal place to relax and balance themselves after a grueling week at work. I think that most people who come to Coalmont are really just looking for a simpler lifestyle that is often not available elsewhere.

NCC: When did you first hear about Coalmont? Did you know anything about Coalmont before you came here?

TF: I first heard about Coalmont from a colleague of mine in the construction business. He told me about this really cool and charming place in the Tulameen Valley that time had somehow forgotten for a while and which I just had to visit … which I did! I also saw a neat article in British Columbia magazine on the Tulameen Valley which talked a lot about Coalmont and surrounding areas. Before that, I had no idea that Coalmont even existed.

NCC: I understand that this first building is going to be for you and your family. Will you be spending much time here? What do the kids think about it?

TF: Yes, although this first home that we are constructing will be used as a show home, we are also hoping to be able to keep it for ourselves. Unfortunately, we will only be able to use it on some weekends and during holidays for now because I work in the Langley area as the Manager of Special Projects at Britco Structures. I’ve been involved in quite a few really interesting projects over the years including the PNE Prize Homes, several hotels, housing developments, senior’s living buildings and custom houses. I’m also involved in part of the Olympic Village project in Whistler where we are constructing accommodations for athletes for the 2010 Winter Games. Our kids are really excited about Coalmont and can’t wait to be able to spend fun holidays and weekends riding their mountain bikes, exploring around the place and just having fun. I would be very happy to show this first home to anyone in the Village who would be interested in seeing what I am doing and to answer any questions and concerns that anyone might have.

NCC: Thankyou for your time Tom. We’ll be looking forward to see how the project progresses. #