First-time buyers, young professionals, downsizers and empty nesters are all clamouring for condominiums at The Hub in downtown Vernon.

The developer of the 57-unit, four-storey complex at the corner of 28th Avenue and 34th Street has declared the location perfect for its walkability to shopping, services and parks.

Prices start at $139,900 for a studio and go up from there for the one-bedroom, one-bedroom-with-den and two-bedroom condos.

All units feature a large patio or balcony, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, vinyl plank flooring and large windows and come with an underground parking spot and storage locker.

And because construction hasn't started yet, buyers have their choice of interior colour pallets.

"Vernon has not had any new residences built in the city for years, so there is a void," said developer John Ross.

"I wanted to introduce the opportunity to offer an affordable housing choice to downtown Venron with efficient and flexible space without compromising quality."

The Hub's presentation and sales centre is already open at 30th Avenue and 33rd Street.

Construction is expected to start late this summer for completion late next year.

There will also be four commercial units on the ground floor, which are also for sale.

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Woodpeckers are fine in trees, a menace when they are attacking buildings.

As such, Kelowna's Keith Eisenkrein has come up with a bird-proofing system for exterior walls called EIFS Armour that's just been granted Canadian and American patents.

The Styrofoam cladding that covers most bigger buildings is like a hollow tree for woodpeckers to drill holes in.

It's noisy and damaging.

Smaller birds then nest in the holes and the woodpeckers to eat the eggs, making more noise as the birds fight and the mess of broken eggs and bird droppings.

Previously, the only solution was patching holes and scaring off birds.

Eisenkrein's invention, EIFS, which stands for exterior insulated foam system, sees a building resurfaced with a steel mesh and finished with a cement polymer or acrylic.

Woodpeckers don't like the steel mesh and stay away from such buildings.

While Eisenkrein just received the patents, he's been using EIFS for five years.

His biggest Okanagan projects have been the resurfacing of the 16-story Centuria condominium tower in Kelowna at the corner of Gordon Drive and Bernard Avenue, which was riddled with over 300 woodpecker holes, and the six-story Play Del Sol Resort on Kelowna's Lakeshore Road.

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A dozen Okanagan College welding and metal fabrication graduates have found jobs at Kelowna's Reidco Metal Industries all at once.

Reidco is busy making metal parts for the electronic, communication, agriculture, lumber, transportation, mining, oil and gas and military sectors and needs trained workers.

"Okagan College provides a good foundation of training that we can then contour for our purposes and projects," said Reidco president Bryan Johnson.

"We are working on truck parts, military parts and seeing more from the resource industry."

A Reidco banner also hangs in the new $33-million Trades Training Complex at the Kelowna campus because Reidco believes trades training and donated to the campaign to help build the school.

The college offers a welding foundations program with rotating intakes at its Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon and Salmon Arm campuses.

The welder apprenticeship training, multi-alloy medtal welding and metal fabrication courses are offered in Kelowna.

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RVs require special storage solutions and Space Centre is offering it in Kelowna with its 157-stall addition at 3150 Sexsmith Rd.

The grand opening of the facility is next Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with ribbon cutting at 10 a.m., a barbecue to follow and a draw for six free months of RV storage.

The angled stalls have wide turning radius and are located on a new paved and fenced lot with LED lighting, passcode entry, water and sani-dump hookups and security.

RV storage is big business as more baby boomers take to the road, but need a place to park the rig when they come home to a condominium complex that doesn't have RV parking.

Even RV owners with home might not want such a big rig in their driveway.

The bigger and better Space Centre also has additional outdoor boat and RV storage, indoor self storage, MI-Box portable storage containers, moving supplies, mailboxes and mini-warehouse leased commercial space with load docks and forklift access.

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The storage boom also sees Secure-Rite Mobile Storage buying the assets of Storage World and consolidating operations at 123 Penno Rd. in Kelowna, just off Highway 97 between Sexsmith and Edwards roads.

The new location has three acres of paved yard and an indoor modification shop.

Secure-Rite sells, leases and rents mobile storage containers from six to 45 feet in length.

They can be used for everything from moves and onsite storage to mobile workshops and site offices and housing.

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Craig and Dianne Garries, owners of PostNet in West Kelowna, have won the franchise's Top Canada Performer Award.

PostNet provides design, printing and shipping solutions for businesses and individuals, from business cards and brochures to banners and signs.

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Steve MacNaull is The Okanagan Weekend's business reporter and columnist. Reach him at steve.macnaull@ok.bc.ca.