Former premier Danny Williams has picked Galway, his mother's surname, as the name of the large residential development he is developing on the outskirts of St. John's.

Williams told a news conference Monday that he picked Galway as the name of the development west of the Southlands, which until now had been known as Glencrest.

"We're off and running," Williams told reporters, adding that the site is being prepared for properties to be sold soon for both residential and retail use. 

"We love it, and we think it's time to do it." 

Galway housing development

Danny Williams is developing a large housing development called Galway near the Southlands area of St. John's. (Curtis Rumbolt/CBC)

The name was selected through a process led by the St. John's marketing company Idea Factory. 

Williams said he was keen to select a permanent name before the first phase of the development started selling. 

"There's been some joking about Dannyville and everything else," said Williams, referring to the nicknames that pundits have applied to the area. "I didn't want people to think that that was where it was going." 

The name change honours his mother, Teresita Williams, a member of the Galway family. Galway is also the name of a city and county in western Ireland, where many people in Newfoundland and Labrador can trace some of their lineage. 

"It is both the continuation of a family legacy, and the beginning of a new one," says the website created to promote the 2,400-acre development.

Williams said the Galway development will be designed around a "town square" model, featuring as many as 5,000 residential units, including houses, townhouses, apartments and condos.

Sales of homes are expected to start in 2015.

Williams is also developing an industrial centre, which will be called Glencrest, as well as a retail shopping centre with about 650,000 square feet of available space. The first retail stores are expected to open in 2016.