In the sixth instalment of our series Building Kamloops, we cross the river into Tk'emlups territory to look at the development at Sun Rivers. Demand for housing at the resort community has boomed in the last six months, and that has ignited the construction of more homes.
Sun Rivers is a community tucked right below Mt. Peter and Paul, and alongside the newly renamed Big Horn golf course. It's a community that's growing steadily as you climb the hill. The biggest development happening right now is Rio Vista, a 58-unit neighbourhood spearheaded by 19th Ventures.
"We're calling it an 'adult-oriented' community, so the concept is that these are homes that are targeted towards mainly people that are retiring or wanting to downsize," said project manager with 19th Ventures Martin Daburger.
The first phase is wrapping up with dirt moving on the land where the second phase will sit. Lots in phase two will be ready for building in August. Daburger says the fine, uncompacted soil in the upper portion of Sun Rivers adds time to construction.
"A lot of geotechnical challenges with the soil types we're building on. It's quite a substantial amount of earthworks that has to get done before we can actually build here," said Daburger. "And that's the nature of the soils. They're unconsolidated, not compacted, and so these soils all have to first be removed and replaced and compacted."
It's one of a few building projects on the go at Sun Rivers. The other, at Belmonte Estates, is nearing completion and the 89 units already sold.
"This year has been fairly active. A lot of housing starts," said CEO of Sun Rivers Development Corp. Rick Siemens. "Our Sillaro neighbourhood, we've got 10 single-family lots left to sell up there, and we're just finishing off the Belmonte townhouse project."
The construction is partly being fueled by a jump in demand for homes in Sun Rivers, especially in the last six months.
"We've got a lot more activity from the Coast directly," said sales manager at Sun Rivers Realty Albert Periera. "Whereas buyers before would go to the Okanagan. They didn't really think about Kamloops. But now they're coming to Kamloops, and we're finding people from the Okanagan are rotating north towards Kamloops as well."
It's estimated up to 1,000 more units can be built at sun rivers before running out of land.
"There are about 850 or so residences occupied right now. We've probably got another 900, maybe up to a thousand we'll develop over the next number of years, depending on the market," noted Siemens. "That'll be a mix of everything from condominiums, townhouses, adult communities, single-family."
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