The Silver Star Gateway development is under construction on Silver Star Road in Vernon. (Obala Realty illustration)

Big city development underway in North Okanagan

Road widening, paving and pathway could disrupt traffic for weeks

All the earthwork taking place on Silver Star Road is making way for a major industrial development.

Groundwork for the Silver Star Gateway Business Park has been taking place on the artery road, off Pleasant Valley Road and across from Butcher Boys. The multi-million dollar project will be comprised of five buildings with 115,000 square feet of space in total: one nine-unit building for light industrial tenants (3-5,000 square foot spaces), a similar second larger building with more units and a third commercial/retail building.

“It’s a pretty exciting project,” Marco Oballa, developer with Oballa Realty, said. “There isn’t anything quite like this in Vernon.”

The development has also paved the way for a wider road, with a centre-left-turn lane along the stretch of Silver Star Road. It also makes way for a multi-use pathway, which the City of Vernon is planning to extend all the way up to Blackcomb Way in the Foothills.

Silver Star Gateway has been in the works for a couple years now and was driven by a shortage of industrial space.

“We found that there isn’t vacancy so we thought there an opportunity to fill a void,” said Oballa, a second generation member of the family business.

Oballa Realty has other industrial assets in Vernon, such as the Vernon Radiology building and industrial properties off Kosmina Road, and has been in the area for more than five years. The company, which has been around for 50 years, also has developments in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

Silver Star Gateway is inspired by some bigger city developments with higher ceilings, more efficient buildings and insulation-embedded concrete construction.

“It’s very similar to many other markets that are building this more professional, higher quality product in Kelowna or Vancouver,” said Oballa.

“Once the park is fully built out, when you’re coming up Silver Star Road it will look pretty cool.”

The professional business park offers a mix of options and tenancies with flexible zoning and is currently for lease.

Meanwhile construction has meant a lot of work on the busy road, including installation of a new water main. But with paving expected to take place in the coming weeks, the traffic delays should ease shortly after, and occupancy of the first building is hoped to be ready by the end of the year.

READ MORE: Silver Star Gateway development disrupts traffic

The project has also been building around a single-family residential lot, sticking out in the middle.

Oballa said dialogue is still open regarding purchasing the property but his focus is on completing the first phase of the project.

“It would be nice to have it included but it doesn’t have to be included,” Oballa, of Coquitlam, said.

Overall, the project is a big boost for Vernon, under construction despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a substantial project for Vernon,” Oballa said. “It’s a great spot to be in.”

READ MORE: Sausage factory fire sparks Okanagan history lesson


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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