With a bit of help from a search dog that put paws to dirt, members of the Cooper Family Foundation and Kamloops Search and Rescue turned the sod on Friday, breaking ground on the future site of Catalpa Community.
Cooper Companies is building a 73-home development on a nine-acre Ord Road property next to the Brocklehurst dog park.The Cooper Family Foundation will donate $10,000 from each home sold to the foundation’s latest Wings Above Kamloops project.
The latest endeavour is seeing renovations being made to the Cooper Company building at Eighth Street and York Avenue in North Kamloops (the former home of the Dirty Jersey Pub, Bowlertime and Soccer Quest), which will become home to Kamloops Search and Rescue and the B.C. Search Dog Association by the end of 2020.
Wings Above Kamloops sees the Cooper Family Foundation raise money through the family’s real estate projects and use the proceeds for worthy causes. The first was a silent bid project on a new home in Aberdeen, with money raised used to build an addition to the Kamloops Hospice Association’s Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice Home in Sahali.
In addition to the $730,000 donation from the Ord Road development, the foundation will match the value of surprise gifts — ranging in value from $1,000 to $20,000 — being donated by various sponsors to the homeowners at Catalpa Community.
On Friday, machinery, Gabion walls and fencing could be found around the property, which has been raised so it is situated above the Kamloops floodplain.
The first phase of the project will see 33 homes rise on the property.
Foundation president and CEO Nelly Dever told a crowd gathered for the ceremony that affordability was a focus of the project.
“We want to give back to the community and help the community as well, and get everybody into homes that they can afford,” Dever said.
Phase one homes, which are between 1,072 square feet and 1,790 square feet in size, will include ranchers, two-storey homes and duplexes. They officially went on sale as of Friday and range in price from $399,900 to $459,900.
Two homes have already been sold.
Installation of foundations has already started, Dever told KTW.
Eight houses are expected to be complete within the next six months — weather permitting — and phase one should be completed by the end of 2020, which is when phase two construction will begin.
The entire 73-home development is projected to take three years to build.
In May, the Cooper Foundation announced Kamloops Search and Rescue and the B.C. Search Dog Association as its 2019 Wings Above Kamloops recipients.
The building has been gutted and is in the design and permitting phase.
The facility will include a 3,000 square-foot canine physical training centre, regional command centre for Kamloops Search and Rescue, lecture hall, board room, decompression station, offices and vehicle bays.
The second floor, which Soccer Quest previously occupied, has been gutted. Dever said an announcement on what will occupy that space is pending.
Also planned for the property is a standalone Tim Hortons restaurant.