A $140M Development in Downtown Kamloops Closer to Reality
Posted On Sep 21, 2020
Kamloops, B.C.: Back in 2017, Kamloops-based Kelson Group announced they had purchased several properties in the downtown core of the city with the intention of developing the area into residential housing. Today, the company is sharing more details of their plans with the goal of generating interest from potential home buyers and renters, and to engage with the community to understand their perspectives on what they would like to see in terms of accessibility, green space, and design.
"Our team has been working for a while on this project," said Jason Fawcett, President of Kelson Group. "We recently met with the City's development services department to share our plans to ensure they align with the City's goals of livability and walkability, not only for potential new residents, but for those who work, visit, or live in our downtown area. The plans aren't fully confirmed as we are seeking our community's feedback to help us make this a signature development in Kamloops' downtown core."
The name of the development will be City Gardens.
"The name City Gardens has always been the foundation of our design because it captures our vision of a vibrant urban environment enhanced with green spaces and beautiful landscaping," said Ron Fawcett, Founder & Executive Director of Kelson Group and the driving force behind the project. "This design concept brings the best of both worlds into one living space and will be a jewel in the downtown core."
Architects and landscape designers have created an overall concept of the development and were able to add in many elements to ensure accessibility while also providing important green spaces for the residents of City Gardens to enjoy.
"We are very pleased with where we are today with the design," said Jason. "We are looking forward to hearing back from the public, and depending on the interest, we would then move forward and apply for the development permit."
To build out the vision of City Gardens, Kelson Group is discussing the purchase of a portion of Nicola Street and a laneway between Nicola and Battle Streets, anticipating they would cover the costs to relocate civic infrastructure, like water and sewer.
The proposed development has a projected value of $140 Million and the design includes a 22-storey and an 18-storey tower, three 4 to 5-storey apartment buildings, and six townhomes. The land area exceeds 150,000 square feet (about 3.5 acres) and the current design concept has 445,000 sq. ft of residential space or over 435 units. Expectations are that up to 60% of the housing will be market condos and the balance rental suites. Interest from the community will determine the final allocation.
Plans for the development also include:
• Up to 600 underground parking stalls over three levels below surface
• Social gathering spaces like outdoor kitchens, lounge seating, and workout stations
• A linear park with bench seating and walking paths
• Lush plantings with a terrace garden, water features, and Zen garden
• An amphitheatre, dog run area, and a natural play park area
"We have thought a lot about every aspect of the development," said Ron. "We are also mindful that some of the buildings in the area we need to remove have some character aspects to them. We will work to ensure some of the unique elements of these buildings can be used in our new builds, similar to what we did with our Peterson Landing apartments on Summit Drive, donating wood and other features from the old building that once occupied that space. We'll be looking to the community too for some of their creative solutions they would like to offer as a part of our consultation."
One of the many areas Kelson Group has also considered are the current residents of the houses on Nicola and Battle Streets where City Gardens will be built. The company will be working one on one with each of the residents to ensure they have time to make alternative housing arrangements well before construction begins. The first stage of construction is estimated for spring of 2022 and the entire project is anticipated to take six to seven years to complete.
"Our company's goal is to help our residents live better," said Jason. "Not only are we going to find solutions to ensure our current residents are looked after, but we're providing details to those in the neighbourhood to keep them well informed. We believe City Gardens will provide excellent housing options for our community, and future newcomers too, and we are excited to move forward with this substantial investment in our hometown."
People are encouraged to learn more about the project and provide feedback at www.kelsondowntownproject.ca
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