New life for long-stalled residential project?

Work has finally resumed on the years-old Mission Hill project off the Summit Connector, a half-built residential development that had been in limbo for a decade — and the scope of the project has changed again.

Traine Construction and Development vice-president of development Chad Davidson said pre-construction work began two weeks ago on a luxury rental development.

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The partially completed building, which has drawn the ire of Kamloops residents, is expected to be completed in early 2021.

“We’re happy to be able to turn the eyesore into a really nice looking community and finish off that piece of the Mission Hill,” Davidson told KTW.

Once the brainchild of developer Mike Rink, the project changed hands multiple times and is now a partnership between the Kelowna developer, rental management company Mainline Living and realtor Forum.

Most recently dubbed Hudson’s Bay Landing, Davidson said the development will once again be rebranded.

Plans for two condo buildings have also changed, with plans now calling for a three-building high-end rental development with nearly 170 rental units, with completion slated for late 2022.

Davidson said the housing market has changed in the last five to eight years.

People are choosing rentals to save money and have more time for experiences, he said.

Thompson Rivers University is nearby, offering a place for student rentals. Kamloops is also experiencing among the lowest vacancy rates in British Columbia.

“Always a good indication that we’re in the right market is when we have a hard time finding housing for our staff,” Davidson said. “Certainly, we’ve had a challenge there in Kamloops.”

As for concerns about viability of the partially completed building, which will be the first to be constructed and will include 40 rental units, Davidson said records were meticulously kept and engineering inspections were rigorously analyzed.

He said ensuring the building was safe was conditional to the company entering into the project, which was a lengthy process.

“Obviously going into something like this, there’s a lot of due diligence,” Davidson said.

The second building will include 49 rental units.

The third building, slated for a vacant lot south of the other two, will consist of 79 rental units.

Expect a mixture, ranging from bachelor suites to three-bedroom units.

They will feature views of the Thompson River, high-end appliances, quartz countertops and modern colour schemes, flooring and lighting.

Amenities will include community garden boxes, a playground, small fitness and community rooms, rooftop patios and a community lounge.

“The three buildings will be together as one community,” Davidson said.

Traine Construction and Development is based out of Kelowna, with multi-family projects across Western Canada in the Little Apple, Nanaimo, Chilliwack and Kamloops.

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