Penticton developer has big plans for Skaha

Work is well underway on a new retirement residence at the south end of Penticton. - Mark Brett/Western News
Work is well underway on a new retirement residence at the south end of Penticton.
— image credit: Mark Brett/Western News

A local developer says he has plans for a new development in the south end of Penticton, breathing life back into a property that has been vacant since 2007.

Len Fox said he has plans for a $60 million commercial/residential development on the seven-acre property where Vancouver developer Mel Reeves once wanted to build a five-star resort at the corner of Skaha Lake Road and Yorkton Avenue.

“It is a real project, it is mammoth ” said Fox, adding that they hope to begin construction by fall 2014.

He is working with Starline Enterprises, who he said has a track record of getting things done.

“Starline is not a promoter, they are a contractor, a developer. They have built 500 condominium units in Penticton,” said Fox.

“We bought that and we bought the corner piece, which belonged to Shell Oil, so we have seven acres.”

The project is still in the planning stages, according to Fox, though he hopes to soon be bringing a plan for the first phase, a small plaza on the corner, to Penticton city council.

The rest of the plan, which includes up to 300 residential units, is still conceptual, but Fox said the plaza will provide a commercial hub for the south end of Penticton and offer amenities and shops to area residents.

“It’s a ten year project, but we are going to build a little mall on the corner of Yorkton Avenue — 15,000 square feet — and we are already talking to some franchise operators, so we can have a coffee shop, we would also like to have a deli there,” said Fox.

Reeves ran into financial difficulties with his project and shut it down in 2008 without ever having broken ground.

The property, formerly the home of the Wonderful Waterworld amusement park, a one-time historic local tourism attraction, was put on the market in 2009 for $12 million,  far less than an earlier listing price of $22 million, after a court had ordered its sale as part of foreclosure proceedings.

Fox and Starline are not the only group showing renewed interest in building in the area.

Southwood, a $25-million retirement resort, occupies what used to be the Waterworld RV park on the corner of Wilson and Yorkton.Regency

Retirement Resorts, which build the Sandbridge gated community two decades ago, has already begun construction on the neighbouring property.


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