Real Estate Upswing Prompts New confidence In The Kamloops Housing Market

I found this article online written by Cam Fortems of the Kamloops Daily News.

With B.C. and the rest of Canada gradually climbing out from a deep but short-lived recession two Kamloops developers are looking to the future with renewed confidence.

While construction cranes creaked to a stop in many B.C. cities, including Vancouver and Kelowna, developers in Kamloops continued building and planning through the gloom Because of that confidence they are poised to sell condominiums under construction on both sides of the river. “We’re just over half sold on our residential and two-thirds on the commercial side,” said Mike Culos, developer of the Landmark One project at the corner of McGill Road and Summit Drive.

On the North Shore, Library Square developer Casey VanDongen, opened show suite and marketing office on Northills Mall and has poured the second-floor concrete “We’ll be waterproofing that with the intention of completing the library in March.”

Both projects represent major developments for Kamloops. The Library Square project will see 145 condominium units constructed along with a new North Shore library and commercial units on Tranquille Road.

Buyers of the units will also qualify for a special City of Kamloops incentive designed to focus development downtown and the North Shore: For five years owners will pay no property taxes and for the following five they will pay reduced taxes.

Culos’s Landmark One project calls for eventual construction of a 21-storey tower, what will be the city’s tallest building. To get there, he is starting with smaller buildings on the property. New owners will move into their new Landmark One units at the end of January. And Culos plans to have a show suite on the property ready by the first week of December. “That’s when we’ll sell to people who want to look, feel and touch.” Culos said he’s satisfied to be where he is on the project, considering the tough times for the world economy over the past 12 months.

The location, where a new traffic signal was installed and will soon be in operation, will eventually be home to four buildings: the current 36-unit residential building plus commercial on the main floor; a twin of that building; an all-commercial building and the tower.

Culos said he’s moving toward design for the commercial building, which he expects to sell quickly. The twin to the current building under construction will start once the residential units in the first building are about 80 per cent sold, Culos said. The Kelowna developer has a history of success in Kamloops, beginning with the Plaza Station development more than a decade ago. The South Shore building is more advanced and pre-sold units before last year’s economic crash.

Van Dongen expects sales on Library Square to ignite with continued rock-bottom interest rates and an improving economy. His development firm, locally based Tri-City Contracting, is focusing on completing the library interior and finalizing working drawings for its residential portion. “We’re hoping to start framing on the residential as soon as spring breaks or a little earlier.”

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