Going the extra mile to build communities

At Cedar Woods’ Solaris Private Estate, fostering a
 tight-knit community is at the core of its development.
Camera IconAt Cedar Woods’ Solaris Private Estate, fostering a tight-knit community is at the core of its development. Credit: Cedar Woods.

The motivation to buy a home has changed from what it once was – no longer is four walls and the key to the front door enough.

Buyers are expecting more from property developers and are placing higher importance on the community that surrounds their new home.

Over the past 18 months, it has become more apparent that the need for human connection, as well as a connection to the natural world, is crucial for many people.

This is not a new concept, however, with the global pandemic making many people housebound – or at least community-bound – this need was exacerbated.

Cedar Woods, one of Australia’s leading national property developers, doesn’t just develop the project and move on.

It has recognised the significance of fostering communities and the difference this makes within these developments, making it a key focus when developing an area.

Across its national portfolio, Cedar Woods engages and executes a range of programs aimed at building and promoting community connection such as pop-up cinemas, weekly personal training sessions, gardening workshops, park openings and social events for residents.

As people developers, they look beyond the immediate community, making connections with the wider area and engaging local businesses to support the community.

Cedar Woods regularly hosts slab parties across its developments in Western Australia, where purchasers can make an initial connection with their new community, meet their soon-to-be neighbours and mingle with like-minded people.

Hosting these events means by the time a resident moves into their new home, they’ve already made strong connections and feel part of a pre-existing community.

As the development progresses, Cedar Woods hosts further events to encourage these relationships, including official park openings and the launch of nature trails.

This model is replicated across several Cedar Woods developments and encourages the growth of community from the early stages.

Cedar Woods Managing Director Nathan Blackburne said the combination of initiatives across the portfolio allowed them to foster community from the ground up.

“We’ve been running a Community Grants Program since 2009 and in that time Cedar Woods have donated over half a million dollars across 46 different initiatives,” he said.

“By giving local schools, sporting clubs, community groups and not-for-profits a chance to grow and prosper, the wider community, including our Cedar Woods residents, benefit from this.”

According to Mr Blackburne, bringing residents along on the journey results in them feeling connected, with a stronger sense of place.

“Our long-term goal is to give our residents and surrounding businesses the tools they need to continue the work we start in the community,” he said. “By establishing community from the early stages, our residents feel empowered to drive initiatives themselves.”

In WA, Cedar Woods have aligned with Creating Communities, an organisation dedicated to discovering the power behind community and uncovering the true potential of connection.

In partnership with Creating Communities, the Bushmead community has flourished through a series of initiatives.

The team worked closely with soon-to-be residents in the pre-construction phase to identify what they wanted from the area before it was developed.

This community consultation has continued well into the development phase, with annual resident surveys providing opportunities for the community to voice their opinions and shape their future community.

Bushmead residents David and Jane Gilbert both value the opportunity to provide feedback on how to improve their community.

“Cedar Woods invests so much energy into creating a fantastic community and we especially love that we are able to give our opinions on shaping where we live,” Mr Gilbert said.

“Bushmead is a fantastic estate to live in, since we moved in we have really enjoyed feeling like we are part of a strong community that looks out for one another, as well as coming together for events such as tree planting, clean-up days and park runs.”

At Cedar Woods’ Forrestdale community, Solaris Private Estate, cultivating a tight-knit community is at the core of the development.

Since launching in 2020, Cedar Woods have hosted events, including welcome breakfasts where new homebuyers can meet their soon-to-be neighbours and guided walking tours of the development where residents can check on the progress of their future homesites and understand the vision for their new community.

Cedar Woods WA State Manager Ben Rosser said purchasing a new home was a momentous decision for its buyers.

“Seeing our soon-to-be residents mingle with their neighbours and walk through their new community was a very emotional and special moment for many,” he said.

Cedar Woods is working hard to respond to the changing world and reflects these changes in the design of its developments to create meaningful places that inspire community connections.

Through thoughtful placemaking, encouraging connection and placing great importance on understanding customers and their lifestyle, Cedar Woods is creating communities that enrich the lives of its residents.

Cedar Woods understands that purchasing a property is a big decision, and we work with our customers to create a solid foundation for their future.

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