Those hunting for affordably priced homes in the South Okanagan might want to turn their eyes to Oliver.
A local developer is currently working on two attainable housing developments in the community dubbed the Wine Capital of Canada.
“I think the entire Okanagan is becoming gridlocked. It’s creating more of a demand and prices keep going up. Oliver is an up-and-coming area,” said Adam Murphy, chief operating officer for Oliver Landing Corp.
The most recent development called Oliver Heights is still in its conceptual stages, but is slated to include a variety of housing options, from detached homes, to row housing and even apartments.
In April of this year, Oliver Landing Corp. bought a 27-acre property at 5899 Princess Pl. The property was once being considered for development by Desert Hills Developments. Under current plans, depending on design details of the units, prices would fall between $200,000 to $300,000.
“We’re still flirting with the specs of the build. Basically we’re just trying to figure out what is going to be the best fit for the project and price is at the centre of that discussion,” he said.
The property is currently zoned for residential and commercial. Murphy said an amendment to slightly increase lot sizes would probably be coming before Oliver council in the near future. Commercial would be small scale, Murphy said.
“This is not a high-density project,” he said. “We’re looking at lots of green space and walking paths. We might want to increase the lot sizes a bit.”
The four-phase project could see more than 200 dwellings built on the property. The first phase will see between 50 to 60 dwellings built. Details aren’t firm around the mix of single detached dwellings, apartments or row houses being built. Murphy said discussions were ongoing on whether to use modular, pre-built homes or construct on-site. Home sales could start as early as January 2018.
The company is also building an attainable row housing development on Co-op Avenue in Oliver. The first phase of 12 units are already sold and are currently under construction. Pricing starts at $289,000.
The first phase sold over the winter and construction is expected to wrap-up November 2017.
“I think that emphasizes the demand for this type of product. We sold those over the winter during the slow season,” he said.
Buyers have the choice between two or three-bedroom units and size ranges from 1,200 square feet to 1,400 sq. ft.
“There’s a mix of people buying these. There are retirees and there are a mix of younger people,” he said.
Ron Hovanes, mayor of Oliver, was impressed with the attainable focus Oliver Landing Corp. was taking with the developments.
“Like any other developer we’re excited to see development in Oliver. We’ve been very blessed in recent years with development with corrections and wine industry developments. We love retirees coming here but we are getting younger people coming to our community that need housing,” he said.