Open House Weekend: Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1, 2012: Chase, Dallas and Westsyde, Kamloops

This Saturday, March 31st and Saturday, April 1st, 2012 open houses will be held in Chase, Dallas and Westsyde in Kamloops.

Dallas Kamloops Property for SaleSaturday, March 31st, 2012: 1:00-3:00: 6417 Dallas Drive, Dallas, $349,900

Great Dallas home on 12,000+ sq.ft. lot. Recent updates include kitchen, downstairs bathroom, some windows & doors & all flooring. The main floor features an open floor plan with French doors. More

Chase Real Estate Property for Sale BCSunday, April 1st, 2012: 1:00-3:00: 331 Willow Street, Chase, $159,900

Cozy bungalow on quiet street with lots of character. Two bedrooms & 1 full bathroom, updated laminate floors & paint, gas fireplace, private fenced yard and workshop. The yard has a garden, water feature with pond. More

Westsyde House for Sale Property HomeSaturday, February 18th, 2012: 12:00-1:30: 827 Sumac Place, Westsyde, $339,900

Great Westsyde home with lots of updates. 2 bedrooms on the main but could be converted to a 3 with 2 bedroom sin the basement. Recent upgrades include: flooring, paint, trim, furnace (2008), central a/c(2008) more

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Council OKs Controversial Building by South Kamloops

This article appeared on the Kamloops Daily News website on March 28th, 2012 and was written by Michele Young.

A long public hearing didn’t give neighbours of a proposed apartment and mixed-use building on Ninth Avenue and Fraser Street the answer they were looking for.

City council voted five to three Tuesday night in favour of allowing Lion Rock Developments to build a five-storey apartment where the Bridge Baptist Church now stands.

The company owns the church building; the Bridge Baptist rents the space but pastor Michael Oatway told council the room that’s being allotted for the church in the new plan is too small and he’ll be looking for a new location.

Coun. Ken Christian was absent from Tuesday’s public hearing. Councillors Donovan Cavers, Marg Spina and Arjun Singh voted against allowing the development.

Cavers, who lives in the area, said in the end, he felt the proposal was too big. Five storeys was just too high and too intrusive for the neighbours.

“This is the first decision I’ve been most torn one way or the other. I really support infill, I really support larger density developments near transit routes, which this one was as well. I support mixed-use developments,” he said Wednesday.

“I didn’t support it because I felt it was too big, five storeys is too high. And I felt they could have done more meaningful consultation with the neighbourhood.”

Coun. Pat Wallace said the decision was a tough one. The fact the public hearing went until 11:30 p.m. indicated just how difficult and controversial it was.

“This is a painful discussion I’m subjected to over and over. We’ve got to get densification, we’ve got to get the cars out of town. And right across from this proposal was a bus stop,” she said.

But there are big apartment buildings downtown and on the North Shore, with houses around them, she noted.

“That pain has to be shared. Nobody likes intrusion. People want their privacy protected, we can’t do that. My neighbour across the lane is higher than me. My neighbours can look in my yard.”

Wallace said she expects more projects like this one to come up in the future.

“I know that people are disappointed. But I still had to look at the greater issue. The land use is good. There’s a lot of pain in the decisions we make.”

The proposal calls for 52 apartment units — 33 one-bedrooms and 17 two-bedrooms — as well as space for a church, multi-purpose use, a 10-child day care and eight-seat coffee shop. It’s located directly across from the John Peterson building of South Kamloops secondary.

Many of the 60 people who crowded into the Interior Savings Centre for the public hearing said they didn’t want the development.

Fraser Street resident Barb Stratmoen, who has lived on Fraser Street for 30 years. She pointed out the area has three other apartment buildings in a three block radius that meet or exceed the recommended density in KamPlan.

“It’s a high density plan and high density proposal,” she said.

The height of the building would also see her lose her privacy and the parking lot behind her home — currently used by the school district office during the day and empty at night — is slated to be used by the apartment dwellers and their visitors in evenings and on weekends.

Don Ferguson of the recently formed Sagebrush Neighbourhood Association, said the largest elementary school in the city, Lloyd George, is a few blocks away, as is the largest high school, South Kamloops secondary. Beattie high school is also sharing space in the high school, making for even more traffic in the area, particularly when classes start and end.

Ferguson said there’s one four-storey apartment in the area, but the rest of the buildings in the neighbourhood are lower than that. There are no five-storey structures.

“We feel this is significant and overstepping the principles of KamPlan. What are targets and how will we know when to stop densifying for the neighbourhood,” he said.

He also appealed to council to do a neighbourhood plan for his part of town, too.

The owner of the four-plex right beside the church said he wasn’t notified of the developer’s neighbourhood meeting held back in October.

His tenants have lived in his building for years; one couple has been there for 37 years, he said. His concern was the building shadow would put some of them in the dark, and that parking behind his four-plex would be impacted.

City planner Linda Piroddi said the developer stepped back the top of the building and reoriented it to lessen the shadow that earlier plans had shown.

Lion Rock also plans to save the tall trees along Fraser and Ninth, she said. And there are 88 parking spaces included for the 52 residential units, visitors and other services in the building.

The units would be sold, and it would be up to the strata to decide if they could be rented out.

Neighbours Oppose Apartment Proposal Near South Kamloops

This article appeared on the Kamloops Daily News website on March 27th, 2012 and was written by Michele Young.

City council heard loud opposition Tuesday night from residents who live near South Kamloops secondary who don’t want to see a five-storey apartment building in the neighbourhood.

Council was still hearing from people at a public hearing and hadn’t made a decision by 10 p.m.

Most of the 60 people who crowded into the Interior Savings Centre for the public hearing said they didn’t want the five-storey, 52-unit housing development proposed for the church property at Ninth Avenue and Fraser Street.

Lion Rock Developments has plans to tear down the existing church and build ground level space for a small coffee shop, a 10-child day care, multi-purpose space and church.

But Michael Oatway, pastor at the Bridge Baptist Church currently renting the church, said if the building goes, so does his congregation.

The new building has a small space for a church, but it’s inadequate. So if the plan goes ahead, his church will go elsewhere, he said.

Fraser Street resident Barb Stratmoen, who has lived on Fraser Street for 30 years. She pointed out the area has three other apartment buildings in a three block radius that meet or exceed the recommended density in KamPlan.

“It’s a high density plan and high density proposal,” she said.

The height of the building would also see her lose her privacy and the parking lot behind her home — currently used by the school district office during the day and empty at night — is slated to be used by the apartment dwellers and their visitors in evenings and on weekends.

Don Ferguson of the recently formed Sagebrush Neighbourhood Association, said the largest elementary school in the city, Lloyd George, is a few blocks away, as is the largest high school, South Kamloops secondary. Beattie high school is also sharing space in the high school, making for even more traffic in the area, particularly when classes start and end.

Ferguson said there’s one four-storey apartment in the area, but the rest of the buildings in the neighbourhood are lower than that. There are no five-storey structures.

“We feel this is significant and overstepping the principles of KamPlan. What are targets and how will we know when to stop densifying for the neighbourhood,” he said.

He also appealed to council to do a neighbourhood plan for his part of town, too.

The owner of the four-plex right beside the church said he wasn’t notified of the developer’s neighbourhood meeting held back in October.

His tenants have lived in his building for years; one couple has been there for 37 years, he said.His concern was the building shadow would put some of them in the dark, and that parking behind his four-plex would be impacted.

City planner Linda Piroddi said the developer stepped back the top of the building and reoriented it to lessen the shadow that earlier plans had shown.

Lion Developments also plans to save the tall trees along Fraser and Ninth, she said. And there are 88 parking spaces included for the 52 residential units, visitors and other services in the building.

The units would be sold, and it would be up to the strata to decide if they could be rented out.

Kamloops Home for Sale: 3087 Shuswap Road, Deloro, B.C. $299,900

Deloro Kamloops Acreage Property for Sale2 bedroom 2 bathroom home situated on 2.53 acres with beautiful river views. Only 0.8 km east of Lafarge bridge. Property is partially fenced. The septic was installed in 2009 and there is a community well with good water. This property could be a good hobby farm or horse property. Very flexible possession. This property backs onto crown land so you will never have a neighbour behind you! Furnace and roof 1998, new deck, updated flooring and paint. Open floor plan and the master bedroom has a 4 piece ensuite. There is RV parking at the foot of the property and room to build a large detached shop or outbuildings. Some notice for showings is appreciated.

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Open House Weekend: Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25, 2012: Aberdeen, Batchelor Heights and Campbell Creek, Kamloops

This Saturday, March 24th and Sunday, March 25th, 2012 open houses will be held in Aberdeen, Batchelor Heights and Campbell Creek in Kamloops.

Campbell Creek Kamloops Real Estate for SaleSaturday, March 24th, 2012: 12:00-1:00: 8905 Badger Drive, Campbell Creek, $465,000

Beautiful Campbell Creek executive 2 storey home. Tons of value in this home with over 3100 sq ft finished, 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. Hardwood and tile flooring throughout the home, high vaulted ceilings in the living room. more

Aberdeen Glen Village Property for SaleSaturday, March 24rd, 2012: 1:00-3:00: 144-1555 Howe Road, Aberdeen, $132,900

Brand new home in a newer subdivision that sits on a large private lot. This home has 3 bedrooms, and 3 bathrooms which includes a full 4 piece ensuite with separate shower and soaker tub. more

Batchelor Heights Kamloops Property for SaleSunday, March 25th, 2012: 1:00-3:00: 1732 North River Drive, Batchelor Heights, $399,900

Fantastic updated 3 bedroom family view home. This house has full city view from the kitchen, dining room, living room and deck. It also has vaulted ceilings throughout main living areas.  more

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KPMG Praises Kamloops for Overall Competitiveness, Kamloops Daily News

This article appeared  in the Kamloops Daily News on March 23rd, 2012 and was written by Michele Young.
People in Kamloops are going to be getting swollen heads, with two studies in one week pointing to the city as a great place to be.

First, MoneySense Magazine rated Kamloops 44th out of 190 Canadian cities for livability.

Then on Thursday, KPMG ranked Kamloops as top B.C. community for overall competitiveness to do business.

Venture Kamloops executive director Dan Sulz said the accounting firm’s ratings looked at 26 factors — things like land prices, taxes, labour costs, real estate and utilities — in making the choice.

Other B.C. cities vying against Kamloops were Prince George, Vancouver and Victoria.

The KPMG rating was something that’s important to help with getting Kamloops recognized among international investors, Sulz said.

“This is also an international report. It’s very important that Kamloops fared above the other communities in B.C. as we try to promote ourselves internationally,” he said.

“When I talk to international investors, they ask me how we fared on the KPMG report.”

It was those questions that prompted him to sign Kamloops up for this year’s ranking — a first for this city.

Participating cities pay for the service of being ranked by KPMG. But Sulz said the money spent has great value when it comes to marketing and promotional uses.

“I was listening to international companies saying this is an important report we rely on in terms of competitiveness,” he said.

“There is value in being able to be ranked in this publication.”

Between the two reports, Kamloops stands out in terms of availability of labour, affordability of lifestyle for employees, quality of life for employees with what the City has done with the Tournament Capital program, and location, services and infrastructure that the city has that companies can benefit from, he said.

Venture Kamloops hasn’t been alone in helping the city’s business image. Sulz said the Chamber of Commerce and other local business associations have contributed.

And even social agencies have helped because they build infrastructure and services in the community that are important to the quality of life Kamloops offers, he said.

“It’s not just about building things that are good for business; it’s about building things that are good for the community. I was surprised and ecstatic to see us ranked as we were. But when you look at every group and organization working hard in the community, it doesn’t surprise me.”

Mayor Peter Milobar said Kamloops needs to let outsiders know about what it has to offer, and rankings such as these two help with that.

“When you combine business competitiveness with one of the best cities to live in Canada, you’ve got a community that is positioned to grow and prosper. That’s something we all have a stake in and can be proud of,” he said.

Busy Spring Real Estate Market Expected, CBC News

This article appeared on the CBC News website on March 22nd, 2012.

Major Canadian housing markets have continued to show “exceptional resiliency” so far this year, setting the stage for a busy spring, according to a major Canadian real estate organization.

In its market trends reports, Re/Max said its survey has found that 12 of 15 Canadian centres, or 80 per cent, reported sales activity in January and February that was ahead of last year’s levels.

More than half of the cities reported double-digit increases, “with the strong demand and diminished supply setting the stage for a heated spring 2012.”

Re/Max said low interest rates, coupled with strong consumer confidence levels and a mild winter played a significant role in the upswing, ushering in an early start to the spring market.

Average prices climbed in 14 of 15 markets, although price appreciation was more tempered, with only three markets — Toronto, Winnipeg and St. John’s, N.L. — posting gains in excess of 10 per cent.

However, tighter inventory levels at entry-level prices have sparked bidding wars — particularly in the Winnipeg and the Greater Toronto Area — with similar conditions starting to emerge in Saskatoon, Regina, London-St. Thomas, Hamilton-Burlington, Ottawa, St. John’s and Halifax-Dartmouth.

“Given the current economic climate, the strength of the country’s housing market clearly reflects the value Canadians place on home ownership,” said Michael Polzler, executive vice-president of Re/Max.

In terms of sales volumes, the best performing markets heading into the traditionally busy spring period were Halifax-Dartmouth, up 35 per cent, Saskatoon (21 per cent), Saint John, N.B., (20 per cent), Regina (16 per cent), St. John’s (12.5 per cent), Greater Toronto Area (12 per cent) London-St. Thomas (11 per cent) and Edmonton (11 per cent).

Only Vancouver, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Winnipeg have experienced softening in housing activity so far this year. Sales are down 16 per cent in the Greater Vancouver, 4.5 per cent in Kitchener-Waterloo, and Winnipeg down 0.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, despite expectations of continuing strong sales, price gains are likely to be “much more moderate that in years past,” said Elton Ash, regional -vice-president for Re/Max in Western Canada.

“We expect this will remain the trend moving forward, in line with the Canadian economy, as GDP growth also moves ahead at a more subdued pace.”

However, Ash said local conditions vary, with inventory shortages driving prices in some markets while others, such as in the case of Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, the local economy has shown extraordinary strength.

“On the whole, this is a very stable and healthy housing market in line with traditional norms, with few exceptions,” he said.

Re/Max said first-time buyers have been driving demand in both the smaller and major markets, in turn sparking strong sales activity among move-up purchasers at higher prices.

“As a result, the upper-end of the market has also held up well. There’s no question that the spring 2012 market will see all segments working in tandem.”

Featured Property: 211-950 Lorne Street, South Kamloops, B.C. $227,400

Kamloops Condo For SaleOpen concept, spacious 1 bedroom unit in popular Park Place. Located in a quiet location close to all downtown amenities and transportation. Secure underground parking with 1 parking stall. All appliances included. Many of the amenities include indoor pool, exercise room, sauna, whirlpool, recreation room with billiards, workshop, car wash, bicycle storage, and gated entrance. To top it off there is a private wharf on the river that offers moorage for you boat. This complex is located on the millennium trail, close to Pioneer Park, tennis courts and more. A/C and hot water tank replaced 2009. Please allow 24 hours notice for viewings. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to live in this great complex. Pets and rentals allowed with restrictions.

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