The developer of The Verana told Penticton council the real estate market would not be flooded with new condos if his project was granted a higher density.
“We wont put more condos on the market until we are through the condos we have and the market is ready to absorb them. That would just not be an intelligent business model,” said Matthew Hay, developer for The Verana located at 3311 Wilson St.
Hay said amending the Official Community Plan to allow for a higher density and amendments to the bylaw would increase property values for the current owners.
“Having an unfinished half of a project with dirt and exposed concrete certainly does not increase your property values, but a completed project with full landscaping and full participation with the strata corporation finances would make a more viable, finished, polished community,” said Hay.
Council voted in favour of allowing the amendments, with Coun. Mike Pearce stepping out because of a conflict and Coun. Judy Sentes and Dan Albas away. Current residents of The Verana sent in letters of opposition to city council, taking issue with the height increase from four to six storeys, adding 32 more units, parking and the shadow the taller building would cast on the current structures, restricting sunlight.
Bob Elliott, The Verana strata spokesperson, said 40 per cent of the current owners (26 out of the 67 units sold or occupied) in The Verana voted against the proposal and 10 per cent voted in favour.
Hay said the decision for higher density is business-model driven and the added density builds the profit margin back into a viable model that an investor, bank or partner would like to invest their money for a sufficient return.
Coun. Garry Litke said the amendments fall exactly in line with what the OCP is asking for: “to build up and not out,” while increasing density.