|GARY NYLANDER/The Daily Courier|
Black Mountain Golf Community has re-set its goals to reflect the reality of a steady, but slower housing market, according to Andrew Bruce, the regional manager for developer Melcor.
developer of the Black Mountain Golf Community.
"There won't be another run-up like there was 2006-08. That was fuelled by speculation and was not sustainable. Now we have a strong, stable market where there's lower absorption. We have to push forward at a reasonable pace and build a solid community for the long term."
At Black Mountain, there's a spectacular 18-hole golf course and 90 homes around it built and occupied. With more single-family homes and some low-rise condominiums to be built over the coming years, total build-out is now estimated at
That's down from the original goal of 600, again reflecting the new normal.
Melcor's vision is in keeping with the just-released 118-page 2012 economic profile from the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission.
"It's just a fact that the economy now has less emphasis on construction and more emphasis on education, health
services and information technology," said commission
manager Robert Fine.
"It's changed the fabric of the community. Kelowna is becoming a college town. There's 16,000 UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College students in the city, making up 8.5 per cent of the population."
While real estate will always be important to the city, as will traditional economic powerhouse, forestry, Fine said the economy of today and tomorrow will be much more diversified and knowledge- and
That means more retail, services, health care, transportation and technology.
When construction started on the 18-storey Landmark 6
office tower a couple of years ago, the economy has just come out of recession to recover at a snail's pace.
"There's still a lot of uncertainty," admitted Steve Kumpf, the director of leasing at Al Stober Construction, developer of the cluster of Landmark office buildings.
"The economy really isn't any better now than when we started Landmark 6, but as it nears completion, we know we did the right thing."
Some companies in the first five Landmark buildings have outgrown their spaces and will move into offices in the sixth tower.
That in turn creates vacancies in the first five buildings that can be filled from others that have expressed interest.