A strong home-building market through Central Alberta is spurring Laebon Homes to construct a $2 million office and warehouse in Red Deer County. The Red-Deer based builder will triple its office and warehouse space from its current headquarters in downtown Red Deer. President Gord Bontje acknowledged the move is a sign of favourable economic times in the region. “Our business has grown dramatically over the last number of years,” Bontje said Monday, “and we’re operating in far too cramped quarters already. We’ve needed the space for some years.” Last week, the county’s municipal planning commission approved the 600 square metre (6,455 square feet) office and a separate 1,115 square metre (12,000 sq. ft.) warehouse. Laebon Homes will initially build the warehouse that size, but could expand it to 3,240 square metres (36,000 sq. ft.) The development will be located adjacent Hwy 2, immediately west of Red Deer on 67th St. in the Burnt Lake Business Park. The lot will include several trees and 58 oversized parking stalls and two barrier-free stalls. Gayle Wood, designer for Laebon Homes, said the project is similar to what some Calgary builders have done. “With the office building, we’ll have a showroom of construction materials that people can choose from,” Wood said. Wood said the warehouse will store construction materials such as lumber, windows and doors. Tradespeople will be able to work inside the bays. “Initially, we are just building two bays, but if we have enough interest, we’ll have four more,” she said. “Most of our trades are independent and have places to work out of, but all of our warranty staff don’t. Some of the finishing stuff we might do inside, rather than outside.” The reason for choosing to locate in the county was simple enough. “We liked the location,” Bontje said. The stucco and stone-accented office will be highly visible off of Hwy 2. “It’s a large home plan,” Bontje said. “It will have a very homey look.” Bontje added being situated in the county isn’t an indication they’re gearing up for more projects there. He said they build homes already in the county, along with several communities — Ponoka, Didsbury, Sundre, Rocky Mountain House and Stettler. “We’ve always done a lot of homes around Central Alberta. Half our homes are built in the city and half in those other areas.” Plans are to get digging as soon as all the permits are completed, hopefully in February. Bontje said the project could be finished by the end of July.