Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada: Estate Property

Written by Harold McNeill on October 1st, 2018. Posted in Guest Posts


Subdividable, Income Producing Property with a
CNLR seven well, Super Pad, Oil Lease

Expressions of Interest are invited for this
94.69 acre parcel of land.

Photo: Looking North along Hwy #897, the property begins on the left at the intersection of
Township Road #640.  The subdividable acreage with seven oil wells is located close to the Municipal Airport and the City of Cold Lake.

(Reference maps and directions to the property are located in the footer)

This property is listed with Kelly Baker of Re/Max Platinum Realty in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada.  (Link Here)
Cell: (780) 545-5955
Office: (780) 661-7653

Primrose Highway Property

Pt SW 1-64-3 W4
Municipal District of Bonnyville #87
Cold Lake,
Alberta, Canada

The property was part of the original McNeill Family Homestead taken over as a tree-farm by our parents, Dave McNeill (1908-1965) and Laura Skarsen (McNeill) (Wheeler) (1918 – 2008), in the early-mid 1900s.

Dave and Laura were among the second wave of homesteaders in the Cold Lake area who helped to settle the land as they raised three children who later graduated from Cold Lake High School in the 1950s and 60s.

This acreage is in one of the finest recreational and economic development areas of Canada’s bustling northwest and just 5 kilometers by modern paved highway from the City of Cold Lake, a rapidly growing community of 15,000 situated on the sandy shores of the deepest and best known lake in Alberta and Saskatchewan (Link Pictures of Cold Lake). Together the two western provinces are the fastest growing and most economically vibrant in Canada.

Local Area Map (left): The subject property is designated by the small red dot just South of Ethel Lake and East of Hilda Lake. The City of Cold Lake, which includes the Canadian Forces Base, is designated by the larger red area. Maps #3 and #4 inserted as footers, provide the specific location and travel distances from the City of Cold Lake.

While the area is known worldwide as being the southern heart of the Athabasca and Cold Lake Oil Sands production area, it is equally well known as a pristine wilderness, filled with freshwater lakes, streams and forests teeming with hundreds of species of fish, wildlife and birds. It is also on the northern migration route of one of the largest populations of water foul in North American.

Access to this wilderness area can be found as close as Marie Creek, an easy ten-minute walk (1.5 km) from the property. A short canoe ride down the creek will place the adventurer among colonies of Beaver as they cut trees, build dams and swim among bulrushes filled with hundreds of nesting songbirds and ducks. In the early spring, the creek is teeming with spawning Jackfish and year-round moose, deer, bear and other wildlife can be found in area forests.

Photo: From a family canoe adventure on the flooded Marie Creek. This photo was taken while standing on Highway #897. Link to the full story for a further description of the area.

The City of Cold Lake provides a full range of business and recreational services with two large, modern malls (photo below of the Tri-City Mall) that hold the usual array of national and international retail outlets. As well, numerous boutique speciality stores cater to individuals wishing to escape the mall scene.

The historic Cold Lake Marina (photo in the footer) provides full service for sports fishermen searching for giant trout and walleye and, as well, provides full service to recreational sailors and boaters.

In the winter a variety of sports opportunities is available including ice fishing, hunting, snowmobiling throughout the countryside and at the full-service ski facility at Kinosoo Ridge. The new Cold Lake Energy Centre recreation building provides service and entertainment equal to or better than that found any city across Canada.

The new regional hospital in Cold Lake Hospital is just 10 minutes from the property along the secondary road that runs by the Regional Airport (see maps below). Regular school bus service is provided along Highway #897.

At Canadian Forces, Base Cold Lake, Canada’s largest and busiest military base, military personnel and civilian workers provide year-round training in addition to hosting many NATO countries during the annual spring Maple Flag operation. A small section of CFB Cold Lake is dedicated to a commercial air terminal from which regularly scheduled flights is provided to Edmonton, Calgary and other key points in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The area also hosts world-class oil production facilities that provide heavy demand for high paying professional, skilled and labour services. Rounding off the economy is a strong retail and service industry that feeds the local community. With a number of infrastructure developments both in progress and in the planning stage, it appears area growth will be maintained for many decades into the future.

Today, both the best of the past and present are available as the modern paved roads and two airports provide easy access to Edmonton and Calgary, at which International Airports connect Alberta and Canada with the world. As Cold Lake is at the end of the north-east highway line, one can then enter the Canadian northland which today remains much as it was in centuries past.

Further Property Description

This single parcel of the farm/development land is serviced by a Class 1 paved highway (#897) referred to as the Primrose Highway. It is fifteen minutes from the City Centre, five minutes from the Cold Lake Municipal Airport and ten minutes from the CFB Cold Lake, the largest military training base in Canada (see precise distances under Map #4 in the footer).

Well maintained gravel roads on the South and West boundaries provide ready access to three of the property borders and access to the North Side via the CNRL 20-acre lease. A small part of the property lies West of the North-South portion of Township Road #640.

Power, gas and telephone are easily accessed along the main highway and an extension power line runs along the south boundary road.  See attached maps for property location.

The area along the Primrose Highway is now hosting mixed agricultural operations, hobby farms, country residential and recreational properties (photos in the footer). It is clean, quiet and offers easy access to a number of pristine freshwater lakes and streams such as English Bay, North Bay Recreational areas on Cold Lake, Marie Lake, Marie Creek, Ethel Lake, Hilda Lake, Wolf Lake and numerous others within minutes of the property. Other remote lakes and resorts may are easily accessed by float plane.

Oil Well Lease

The energy firm, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL), a major player in the Oil Sands Development, leases the Northeast corner of the property where they have producing wells that are kept in immaculate condition. A 5-acre pad, now referred to as a “super pad” now hosts three producing wells and four further wells that await an increase in oil prices.

The highest and best use of the property would be with single family residences, continued as recreational property or as a hobby farm.  While it is heavily treed (a mix of poplar and spruce) there is also some open pastureland. While the soil classification indicates there are limitations that restrict the capability to produce forage crops, improvement practices are feasible.  There are no adverse easements or encroachments.

The potential for sub-division exists as permitted by the Municipal District of Bonnyville (#87) under the Land Use By-Law. Reference Agricultural Land Section #65.4, p. 38ff (LINK). Several small and one larger sub-division have been completed on neighbouring. 3 – 5-acre parcels in the area. These parcels were sold in the $90,000 to $100,000 range in 2010 and since then have increased in value. (reference development map #5).

Lots in the City of Cold Lake range from $150,000 (low end) and for larger area developments, acreages would run from $500,000 upward.

Whether you wish to build a multi-million dollar home or a log cabin retreat, this property provides ample value.

Expressions of Interest

For details on submitting a written Expressions of Interest contact the Executor by email at:   harold@mcneillifestories.com.

Canadian Telephone: 250-889-1033 (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)

The Expression of Interest is not a binding agreement on either party and is intended only to open dialogue regarding development opportunities and a possible sale/purchase agreement.

Agent contact is invited, however, there will be an expectation of the Agent having a specific offer against which a suggested finder’s fee for a confirmed sale would be made in a formal Offer to Purchase.

Other options exist.

Harold McNeill
Estate Executor

Below: Maps #1 and #2
Provincial/National Orientation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Below: Map #3
Subject property, named Skarsen L., marked in yellow

 

Below: Map #4
The general area of MD and City of Cold Lake
(travel distances below map)

Directions to property from  the City of Cold Lake

From the intersection of Hwy #28 and #55, travel West for 8.2 km on Hwy #55 to the intersection of Hwy #897 (Primrose Highway). Turn right and travel North on Hwy #897 for 5 km. The property (in yellow) begins at the intersection with the gravel road (Township Road #640) and continues north along the left side of the Hwy #897 to the CNRL lease which marks the NE boundary).

The property is bounded by roads on three sides (Highway #897 (Green) and Gravel Roads (Red))

From the CFB Cold Lake rear gate, travel north for approximately 5 km. on Hwy #897 to Hwy #55, then through the intersection to continue North as noted above.

 A secondary highway (running north of and parallel to Hwy #55, provides access to the Cold Lake Regional Airport (small aeroplane on the map and as footer below). This is the secondary road is also the shortest route to the Regional Hospital, Kinosoo Beach and the north end of the City of Cold Lake.

Aerial View (#5) With sub-divisions and topographical lines superimposed.
(see notes below)

Skarsen L., property begins north of Township Road #640 (under the words). Property sub-divided on the opposite corner includes two 3 acres and one 5 acre parcel. Further east, on the next quarter, is Country Residential (CR2) and north, across the Township Road from that parcel, are two further parcels, zoned CR1 and CR2 as well as one CR2 (not quite visible) in the top right corner of the map.
Sprinkled throughout the area are other 5 and 10 acre parcels.

Property Pictures

Looking across Hwy 897 and down gravel access road. The property begins on
the far right corner.

 Photo:  The south boundary gravel road turns north to run along part of the west boundary. If you look at Map #5 below, you will note a portion of the property has been sectioned off
on the left side of the road (perhaps 5-7 acres).

 Photo: North-east corner of the property along Highway #897, shows the small
portion of land cleared in preparation for the Canadian Natural Resources Limited lease. (Checks are being made with CNLR to see if this access road is available to use for general use to access to the North side of the property)

Neighbourhood Properties in the Million Dollar Range

The Original Family Farm is now sold and a new house built on the property.

(Above Photo)  This was part of the original W & L Skarsen farm where our mother and stepfather lived for nearly thirty years. The original house, built in the 1940’s and moved in the 1970’s, now sits behind this new home at the corner of Highway #55 and Hwy #897.

(Two Photos Below) This property now sits directly across from the property listed for sale. The driveway to the 20-acre CNLR (oil well section) sits directly across from the driveway to this property.

Other neighbouring properties are shown below.

Typical building site on various properties in the area.

Miscellaneous City and Area Photos

Cold Lake Marina

Evening scene looking over Kinosoo Beach

Cold Lake Regional Airport is 5 minutes south property (reference map inserts)

Additional photos in the Photo Album
attached to this post

 

Welcome to Cold Lake, Alberta

Kinosso Beach Looking North West

 

Camping at Kinosoo Beach 2008

 

 

 

Cold Lake, Kinosoo Beach Looking West

Cold Lake Marina

Cold Lake Waterfront

 Combining, September 2008

Field Scene, Cold Lake area

Marie Creek, near the Estate Farm Property

Clarks Restaurant in Cold Lake

 

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Comments

  • Andrew Dunn

    May 14, 2019 |

    Thank you so much for all your help thus far Harold, aka. Tractor guy! I could not have done without you!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 25, 2019 |

    I find it interesting to contemplate how a small community evolves in general isolation from the rest of the world. We have a similar situation in the northern communities in Canada to which access is limited. The inclusion of the world wide web and mass media has changed things, but these communities are still left pretty much to their own devices when it comes to personal interaction.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 19, 2019 |

    Hi Dave. Not that I am aware and I have a fairly comprehensive family tree for the McNeill side of the family. I will pull it up and scan. Cheers, Harold. Great chatting with you and I will give Ben a nudge.

  • Dave Cassels

    March 16, 2019 |

    Were you related to Guy McNeill who owned the Bruin Inn in St. Albert in the late 40’s or early 50’s? Guy was a close friend of my father-in-law who was the first President of the Royal Glenora Club. My phone number is 780 940 1175. Thank you.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 15, 2019 |

    So glad you found the story and enjoyed. Indeed, they were memorable times. I did a fair amount of searching but never managed to contact any of the Murffit kids. However, it was neat to make contact with the Colony and someone I knew from back in the day. I have enjoyed writing these stories from back in the 1940s and 50s and have made contact with a lot of friends from those early years. I will give you a call over the weekend. Cheers, Harold

  • Yvonne (Couture) Richardson

    March 7, 2019 |

    I enjoyed your story. I too, lived in Pibroch in 1951, as my parents owned the hotel there. I was a very close friend of Bonnie Murfitt at the time. I moved to Edmonton in 1952, however, and have not seen her since. I would like to be in touch with you to talk about your story. My email is listed above and my phone number is 780-475-3873.

  • Laureen Kosch/Patry

    March 5, 2019 |

    I grew up in Pibroch and would not trade those years for anything. “ Kids don’t know how to play anymore” Never was a truer statement made. During the summer we were out the door by 8am, home for lunch, and back when it got dark. For the most part our only toys were our bikes and maybe a baseball mitt. I will never forget the times when all the kids got together in “Finks field” for a game of scrub baseball. Everybody was welcome, kids from 8 to 18. I didn’t know it then but I guess I had a childhood most dream of. Drove thru town last summer. It all looked a lot smaller.

  • Harold McNeill

    January 13, 2019 |

    Well, my dear, it’s that time again. How the years fly by and the little ones grow but try as you may you will have a hard time catching up to your Daddy. Lots of love young lady and may your day be special
    Love, Dad

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Guess what? My response went to the Spam folder. Hmm, do you suppose the system is trying to tell me something?

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Thanks, Terrance. Your comment came through but went to the Spam folder. Have pulled it out and approved. Can you send another on this post to see if you name is now removed from Spam? I’m not sure why it does that. Cheers, Harold