A major housing development is about to get started in Chatham and municipal officials are calling it a game changer.

There will be more homes built at a single site called The Meadows, than there were in all of Chatham-Kent over the last 17 years.

Maple City Homes plans to build 380 new homes on the city's south west side, not far from the 401.

It's being touted as the largest mass home building project in Chatham-Kent in more than four decades.

“The economy just hasn't been right for Chatham and now it's going on all cylinders,” says Maple City Homes President Robb Nelson. “We are 100 per cent ready for this huge growth, the unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in years and a huge demand for people and a huge demand for homes."

“We're approaching both the millennial market, first time home buyers, kind of second time home buyers and also the retired market is very exciting for us because we're in that raised ranch 2-3 bedroom unit,” adds Nelson.

Nelson tells CTV News the $150-million project should relieve the inventory shortage in the local real estate market.

“The first-time home buyer market is looking for a whole different product and they're looking to save time, so they don't want the larger home they want the smaller homes, the smaller footprint,” says Nelson. “They want to have time and they want to know what their fixed costs are and you get that with a new home."

Municipal data shows only 264 new homes were built between 2011 and 2017. But in 2018 alone, that number was 265 -- one build more than the previous six years combined.

“Anytime anybody wants to spend $150 million and build about 400 homes in our community yeah you get excited about that," says Chatham-Kent's director of economic development Stuart McFadden

"Once we get building here you will see us delivering product at a price that is competitive with the used homes in our area," says Carson Warrener, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Maple City Homes.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony is expected to take place at the build site on Wednesday.

The project will be done in phases, take up to six years to complete.

Maple City Homes says the first phase could be for sale as early as August.