Western Washington’s largest planned community will be officially open for business on Saturday.
Tehaleh, called Cascadia for almost 20 years as it was carved out of the Bonney Lake plateau, will have 10 model homes ready for visitors beginning at 11 a.m. They will range in size from 1,700 square feet to 3,000 square feet. One of the models will be from the active adult neighborhood.
New owner Newland Communities chose five builders in June for the first 350 lots. Although it has been possible for people to buy a home since then, Newland vice president Scott Jones said this week no sales have closed yet — but he didn’t expect any before the grand opening.
“We’re open for sales,” Jones said. “We’d love for people to come take a look.”
Newland has planned a party for about 750 people that includes food trucks, live music and kids activities until 5 p.m. The highlight of the event will be the final race between six final contenders to win a home.
Cascadia was the vision of developer Patrick Kuo when he bought the land from Weyerhaeuser in 1991. He envisioned a 5,000-acre planned community of houses, schools and businesses. Kuo lost most of it to foreclosure in 2009.
San Diego-based Newland snapped up 4,200 acres last year for $49 million, and formed a partnership with Sekisui House, one of Japan’s larger homebuilders.
Tehaleh, pronounced TAY-HA-LAY, comes from Chinook jargon and means “high ground, superior land or land of the gods,” according to Sekisui’s website.
In September, about 1,400 people entered Newland’s contest to win up to $280,000 to put toward a brand new home of their choice. Finalists were narrowed down through various online challenges, one of which was so popular it caused confusion for several hours on who had advanced to the next round.
Jones said although that part of the contest was designed to advance only 100 people, the company ended up advancing 179.
Tehaleh is planned to have about 5,900 homes, a 419-acre employment center, a fire station and up to seven schools. More than 1,000 acres of parks and a trail system are scheduled to be open to the public this weekend, as well as a locally owned cafe in Tehaleh’s main visitor’s center.