The developer behind several compact suite complexes constructed in the Okanagan wants to bring their “microsuites” to Sicamous.
At its Sept. 28 meeting, the Sicamous Planning and Development Committee received a short presentation via videoconference from K West Homes president and Vita Resort Residences founder Kevin Bird regarding two properties. Bird would like to develop both with ground-level microsuites – fully furnished 313-square-foot units.
Bird noted a 103-unit Vita project constructed in Vernon, also with 313-square-foot suites, sold out immediately, and the company is currently building a 172-unit project at Big White.
One diagram provided to the committee shows plans for 108 units at a property along Sicamous Creek Frontage Road, with another 25 units on property to the east, across Highway 97A. A second diagram showed another resort with 102 units at Riverside Avenue and Weddup Street.
Regarding the Vernon project, Bird said most of those units are year-round rentals, whereas the Big White project is expected to be all short-term rentals.
An artist’s rendering was also provided of what Bird has in mind for Sicamous, a multi-unit ground-level structure.
“So what I wanted to do is get everything back to ground-oriented rather than stacked product,” said Bird. “People have come out and said we’d love to just be able to drive up to our suite, so that’s what we’ve done for our layout.
“I just wanted to bring this forth prior to spending any real money or waste anybody’s time. I’m open for your comments. We plan on having two different colour schemes… but the product speaks for itself. It sells very well.”
Committee members raised some concerns with both properties. Regarding the Sicamous Creek Frontage Road site, committee chair/Councillor Jeff Mallmes and Coun. Gord Bushell referred to issues past developers had involving access.
“The previous developer had lots of negotiation with highways with regards to an interchange there, a turning lane and a turnout lane, that would have to be done with highways,” said Bushell.
Mallmes raised another issue regarding the proposed location of park dedication for a neighbouring development. Still, both he and Bushell were supportive of the presented plans.
“I like the plan, the property has sat stagnant now for quite a while…,” said Bushell. “If it is proposed and goes ahead, maybe they can also look at a local manufacturer and hopefully Sicamous will benefit from employment and everything else that goes along with it.”
Regarding the Riverside site, Bird said the vision behind it is to bring fully furnished nightly and weekly rentals into the downtown.
“I love the site, it’s a great location,” said Bird. “Again, what I build now is my Vita brand, which is my microsuite brand, that’s all I do now. I don’t vary from that.”
Mayor Terry Rysz said he was supportive of this project as well.
“Thanks for your interest and it’s important to Sicamous that we get this right and it’s an important development for the future of Sicamous,” said Rysz.
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