Oliver housing project hits key milestone

New community launched by Osoyoos Indian Band opens show home. Hailed as landmark development for entire South Okanagan.

The first show home at the Osoyoos Indian Band's newest residential development

The first show home at the Osoyoos Indian Band's newest residential development

A flagship residential development by the Osoyoos Indian Band reached an important milestone last week with the opening of the show home at the Canyon Desert Golf Community.

It’s the first of 17 high-end homes planned for the first stage of development, which should be complete by this fall. Twelve of those homes are already sold. A total of 81 homes, many starting in the $300,000 range, are expected to be built in Phase 1 of the development on the Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course just outside Oliver near Tuc-el-Nuit Lake

Chief Clarence Louie said at a ceremony Friday that when the OIB expanded the course to 18 holes in 1999, it was just scraping the surface of the site’s potential.

“You have to have a residential development to go along with your golf course,” he said.

Some 200 new residents are expected to live in the first phase, construction of which is expected to contribute $25 million to the local economy. Louie noted many of those jobs will be performed by OIB members.

“We want to see our people working,” he said.

Oliver Mayor Ron Hovanes, also on hand for the show home opening, said his town stands to benefit too.

“What is good news for the Osoyoos Indian Band is good news for the Oliver community,” Hovanes said. “Your success is our success.”

The Canyon Desert residential development at full build-out is expected to feature 450 homes, villas and resort suites, plus a wine bar and culinary arts school. Bellstar Group and GGC Developments are partners with OIB on the project.