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Check here for the latest news posts and blog entries from the New Monaco Project Team

New Monaco featured on WaterCanada.net - March 19, 2013

View the article here.

Sometimes it’s the simplest changes that matter the most. That’s what one residential developer is hoping, at least, when it comes to the Okanagan Valley and its increasingly stressed fresh water resources. The area’s tantalizing combination of hot summers and skiable winters is attracting thousands of new residents each year, and it’s expected that the region’s population will increase by 50 per cent over the next 20 years. If water usage patterns don’t change dramatically, Canada’s only semi-arid desert could very easily run completely dry.

That’s where the New Monaco Enterprise Corporation comes in. While it might seem obvious that the conspicuously lush golf courses and massive vineyards that feed the area’s tourist-friendly wineries are the region’s biggest water hogs, it’s actually the lawns and gardens of the people who live there that are the biggest offenders. According to a water budget that was completed recently by the Okanagan Basin Water Board, 25 per cent of the region’s supply of water goes to keeping the grass green on everyone’s side of the fence, a figure that’s more than double the Canadian average. If people who live in the Okanagan don’t change the way they use water, there won’t be enough of it left to support them.

New Monaco, a project that will break ground this year on the arid hillside above Peachland, intends to show people that residential development can be done differently—and better. “A lot of us who are on the project have spent a good deal of our professional lives pushing the edges around sustainability,” says Mark Holland, New Monaco’s VP of development and project manager. “As a matter of principle we don’t tend to like to take on a compliance attitude towards things.” The project’s desert-friendly landscaping and multi-family structure will reduce, by more than half, the amount of water used when compared to the average Okanagan home.

New Monaco will also serve as a demonstration project to other communities who face the same challenges. It has partnered with faculty members and students from UBC-Okanagan, who will use New Monaco as a field experiment through which to develop and test theories about sustainable development in the Okanagan. New Monaco is even partnering with the university to secure an NSERC post-doctoral researcher, who will work with the community and the company to develop best practices for water conservation in the field of residential development.

And while it might be tempting to write all of this off as a developer that’s simply cashing in on the growing marketability of environmentally-friendly developments, Holland says that’s not the case here.

“I’ve spent 20 years in the sustainability industry now, and I haven’t seen much evidence that people will pay more for environmental performance. They will pay a little bit more for health-related things like indoor air quality and better materials, or things that make them feel more comfortable. Water efficiency? Probably not. Most folks tend to go in the other direction. They’ll pay more for a shower that has 50 heads in it rather than one that has one head, or a 300-gallon tub rather than a regular one. If there’s a market pressure that we’ll all be responding to, it’s probably the reverse.”

Why are they doing it, then? “We have a responsibility to pursue the highest performing systems with the least impact that we can make work,” he says. “We don’t have a responsibility to go past what we can make work—that’s into theory. But it’s our job to be as creative and progressive as we can possibly afford to be.” – Max Fawcett

Our panel said:

“New Monaco has set the standard for water smart development in one of Canada’s most water stressed environments.”




Peachland View Article on New Monaco - February 15 & 21, 2013

Joanne Layh
The Peachland View

Part 1

As behind the scenes work progresses steadily ahead, shovels could be in the ground at the New Monaco development site as early as late 2014, New Monaco vice president of development Mark Holland told The View last week.

The New Monaco property stretches across 125 acres at the junction of Highway 97 and Highway 97C.

Back in 2011 New Monaco received Peachland council’s unanimous approval for an Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment to include the New Monaco concept within its OCP, which would allow for the development of 2,600 – 2,800 units.

Since then, Holland has been in detailed discussions with key medical, educational and technology operators to recruit tenants and develop strategic partnerships.

Holland says many of these discussions have been fruitful and their intention is to submit a zoning application to the district immediately after summer and spend the fall consulting with the community.

The proposed development will begin with the construction of medical, commercial and boutique retail buildings and will later include multi-density residential, as well as a strong arts presence throughout the neighbourhood.

Last week Holland and New Monaco community relations person Mary Lapointe met with The View to provide an update on how the development is progressing.

One major development to take place is a unique partnership between New Monaco and University of British Columbia (UBC) that is laid out in a memorandum of understanding.

“We’ve built a very strong relationship with UBC,” Holland said. “There are well over a dozen projects underway with UBC now.” While some of those collaboration projects with UBC are through the Okanagan Sustainibility Institute relating to ways to reduce water and energy use, several are more arts focused.

On February 21 New Monaco will host a public discussion between the Peachland Arts Council and two UBC Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies professors. The UBC professors will engage with the Peachland arts community about their Okanagan Eco Art Incubator project. Holland says New Monaco is working with the UBC professors on two other projects.

“One is a program we’re putting together to develop an Okanagan aesthetic that will help create principals for how buildings and landscapes can be designed so they feel like they’re from the Okanagan rather than feeling like they were flown in with a helicopter and dropped down in the Okanagan. We have a major commitment to Peachland to have the community work with us on the design of the buildings, on the shape of the buildings, how they’re going to feel, what they’re going to look like. We’re going to spend some serious time with the community on that and this is a part of that conversation.”

Holland says the UBC professors will go across the valley talking to all the different communities about a series of questions that they are developing about how to get people to talk about what really the Okanagan means and feels from an artistic and aesthetic point of view and they are going to start that process in Peachland.

“We’re doing it in conjunction with our project because I want hear what people think about that because that will help us shape how the buildings look,” Holland said.

Holland says New Monaco has also agreed to fund a multi-year film project. The film project will use time-lapse photography showing the change in the land from when the project starts all the way through to when construction is completed.

Holland says they will also be working with UBC advanced engineers to look for water and wastewater innovations that can be applied to the development. They will be working with UBC, the district, Fortis, and others on the project, which is expected to begin in about six weeks and last an entire year.

“We’ll have two engineers with PhDs working full-time on it looking for the most advanced best innovative approach that has the least environmental impact we can get,” Holland said. “We have been working very hard to get UBC, Okanagan College and other educational institutions into Peachland. We think that Peachland’s population has a lot of educated people and people who really like learning and being part of educational environments so we’re going to do what we can to help bring them in. Because we’re doing a master plan community we have the ability to offer them things that other people can’t and them very interested in coming.”

Holland says that while acknowledging that UBC needs to stay centred on its main campus, they will be offering them the opportunity to have a small physical presence on the site to allow UBC to connect more closely with the community.

Part 2

More high paying jobs could be coming to Peachland in the next few years if development plans at the New Monaco site proceed as planned. The New Monaco property stretches across 125 acres at the junction of Highway 97 and Highway 97C.

Back in 2011 New Monaco received Peachland council’s unanimous approval for an Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment to include the New Monaco concept within its OCP, which would allow for the development of 2,600 – 2,800 units.

Since then, New Monaco vice president of development Mark Holland has been in detailed discussions with key medical, educational and technology operators to recruit tenants and develop strategic partnerships.

In a recent interview with The View, Holland said their intention is to submit a zoning application to the district immediately after summer and spend the fall consulting with the community.

The proposed development will begin with the construction of medical, commercial and boutique retail buildings that would bring jobs and will later include multi-density residential areas, as well as strong arts presence throughout the neighbourhood.

In addition to a partnership on several projects with UBC that was the focus of last week’s story, Holland has also made progress in recruiting medical and high-tech tenants to the new development site.

“We have a significant growing interest in a number of major areas we’ve been working in, particularly high technology. I’ve got an enormous interest for high tech companies. It turns out a lot of them really like Peachland,” Holland said.

New Monaco has entered into a partnership with the Okanagan Film Commission to help attract companies, such as those that specialize in motion capture and animation, to the Okanagan from Vancouver, Los Angeles, and other cities.

“We can’t build a building for them today, because we’re still a couple years away from being able to have a building that people can occupy, but the interest is very, very high,” Holland told The View. “One thing we’re particularly pleased about was that the mayor [and CAO Elsie Lemke] came with us to Vancouver and spent the entire day with us helping recruit high tech companies… The mayor and Elsie are working very hard to bring economic development and help us recruit companies and we’re very grateful for that.”

Additionally, Holland confirms that several medical companies have signed memorandums of understanding to locate at New Monaco, including an MRI company and an integrated health services company that specializes in a variety of areas such as fitness, physiotherapy, and orthopedics. Once they have submitted a zoning application to the district, Holland says they will spend time consulting with the public about things such as form and character.

“We are committed to consultation on what buildings look like and how big they are. We are going to be doing extensive consultation with the community about that,” Holland says. “We want to have some good consultation on health and wellness needs, as we develop out our health and medical cluster, as to what people would like to see and what they need, including seniors,” Holland said. “The other area of consultation or relationships that we want to start on much more seriously now than we have in the past is with the businesses in Peachland.”

Despite uncertain global economic conditions, the New Monaco vice president of development plans to continue moving ahead.

“The one thing that we have that we are lucky about is we own the land and we have patient money behind the project,” Holland said. “Many developers have to get it built and sold quickly because they need to use those profits to keep the lights on and move forward. We’re fortunate at this stage in the project with the investors that we have, we’ve been able to be patient. So the fact that the world’s economy is not doing so well, we’re okay with that.”

Holland says that instead of building and hoping people turn up, they’re being very careful in how they choose tenants.

“We’ve built the concept of the village and of New Monaco directly around what specific companies want,” Holland said. “Even though the world’s markets don’t look so positive, there is still a lot of business going on and a lot of people are moving and a lot of companies are growing. That’s how we’ve been doing it – being patient and very carefully fitting this in – so it’s a very attractive place to be for a certain select group of companies that we’re pretty sure will be very happy to come.”

Holland also commented on how some of the other proposed medical related projects on the Westside might impact what New Monaco is trying to achieve. “The more health projects that happen in the Central Okanagan, the better for all of us,” Holland said, adding that a growing number of retirees in the region will add increased demand.

“The health demands are going to be huge. We don’t want people feeling that they don’t want to move to the Okanagan because the health waiting lines are too long. We need a lot of health services here,” Holland said. “The other thing is when you end up with a university with a medical school, a great regional hospital and a lot of other health services … the more of those opportunities that you have here, the more doctors you get, the more nurses you get, the more specialists you get and you need those facilities and those services here.”

Holland says his hope is to successfully complete the zoning of the project by the end of the year. After that they expect to spend a short time on subdivision, before moving on to development permits and the detailed construction design of road access, water, sewer, and the first buildings. Holland says he hopes the first buildings will be under construction in late 2014.




Community Update – November, 2012

New Monaco Planning Focuses on Commercial Opportunities

You haven’t heard from us in the past few months but the New Monaco team has been hard at work and much has been accomplished since our last community update. We e have attempted to provide a complete overview of our activities and our objectives in this brief report but we also welcome any comments or questions you might have regarding the project.

It was just over a year ago, in June, 2011, when Peachland’s Council unanimously approved New Monaco’s Area Structure Plan for the 125 acre-site at the eastern edge of the community as part of the District’s Official Community Plan. That plan, which covers the overall quantity and type of development planned for the property, includes New Monaco’s commitment to develop a complete, sustainable neighborhood and one that brings long term benefits to all of Peachland.

Social balance and economic sustainability, factors which ultimately make the difference between communities that are stable and those that are not, have been the primary focus of New Monaco’s work over the past eighteen months. The commercial core, the first phase of the project to be built, will generate a wide range of business and employment opportunities in health, technology and education for young families and will form the economic foundation for all of the proposed uses including the residential, recreational and cultural uses that will comprise what we are striving to create - Canada’s Healthiest Community. It will also form the foundation for significant economic and social benefits to Peachland as a whole.

Recruiting companies into the region is a complex and time-consuming process. Businesses looking to locate here need to be convinced that such a move is part of an overall corporate growth strategy, that markets are accessible, that there is a sufficient supply of appropriately skilled labor and that the personal living and working choices of a company’s owners and employees will be met by such a move.

While the Okanagan as a whole provides a compelling strategic and ‘lifestyle’ story for the companies that we are targeting and New Monaco’s ‘live, work, shop, play’ concept has been fairly well-received, there is still much work to do to define the specific elements of a plan that will achieve the objectives of all of the stakeholders, including both the existing community and the businesses that will come to Peachland in future. Moving forward, we will need to continue to work very closely with the District of Peachland and the community as a whole to create the conditions that will convince these companies to commit to our community and which will establish a firm foundation for a sustainable project.

Our work program, over the last few months has included the following key initiatives:

  • We have continued to work on refining our economic model and the rationale necessary to tell the Peachland/New Monaco story in the fields we are targeting;
  • We have focused primarily on medical and technology companies and we are now in negotiations with several interested companies in these fields;
  • We have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of British Columbia Okanagan and we are actively engaged with a number of UBCO faculties and supporting a number of research projects and artistic initiatives; and
  • We have continued to work on the technical planning for the next phase of the approvals process (access, zoning / subdivision).

Over the coming months, we will be continuing with these initiatives. We will also be consulting with the community to advance the plan in preparation for a rezoning application. Once complete, that plan should reflect the aspirations of Peachlanders and, at the same time, provide for the needs of the businesses and residents that that will also become contributors to the community over the longer term. It should mark the next stage in the creation of a neighborhood that is a source of both community pride and a long term benefit to Peachland.

Over the coming months, we will continue to keep the community informed of our progress toward achieving the sustainability goals we have committed to. We look forward to discussing the evolving plan with the community in greater detail over the coming months and we will continue to seek advice from Peachland Council and Staff.

For more information, please contact Mary Lapointe at 250-767-9000 or at mary.lapointe@newmonaco.ca.




Visionary Community wins Prestigious Prize

Edmonton-based New Monaco Enterprise Corporation is delighted and humbled to receive the prestigious 2012 Award for Planning Excellence from the Canadian Institute of Planners, Canada’s top award for exceptional planning.

The award ceremony, being held at the Banff Spring Hotel on October 10, 2012 honours New Monaco for Rural/Small Town planning for its namesake project New Monaco, an Okanagan Valley community that aims to be a world pioneer in creating sustainable living to fit the “live, work and learn” model of community development.

Scheduled to break ground in late 2013, New Monaco will be a master-planned, mixed-use sustainable community in Peachland in the Greater Kelowna Region.

Centred on a walkable retail village integrated with housing for about 5,000 residents, New Monaco’s 125-acre project includes an office commercial district anchored by a comprehensive wellness, learning, and technology hub.

“I truly believe New Monaco will create a 21st-century vision of sustainable living,” says Mark Holland, VP of Development.

The Canadian Institute of Planners annual Awards for Planning Excellence “honours planning projects judged on their excellence, innovation, impact on the profession, implementation potential, and overall presentation,” the Institute notes. “We’ve received an overwhelming number of entries this year, 66 in all from across the country. All of these projects are deserving of recognition for their excellence in planning work, their contribution to the profession, and for showing particular strength in the category under which they won their award.”

In June 2011, Peachland civic authorities approved New Monaco, a development of three million square feet, including 2,800 residential units and a full service hotel, to be built along a three-kilometre stretch of the banks of Lake Okanagan nestled between the Coquihalla Connector (hwy 5) and Hwy 97, the principal north-south link from Vernon to the United States border.

“The response from companies and institutions we’ve contacted has been tremendous,” says Mr. Tsang. Memoranda of understanding have been reached with a university, institutions, an international digital media company, a health and wellness group and a leading care-giving service, among others.

New Monaco will integrate a vineyard and wine cellar, a spa, a chef’s lodge, retail goods in the fashion and shopping district, organic gardens, parks and nature trails. It will include, in the learning-wellness-technology hub, collaborative partnerships with leading technology and research organizations. It will house an artist, artisan and designer market, studios and galleries, and performance spaces for music, art and cultural events.

The entire community is meant to be walkable, inclusive, and welcoming. More than a place to live, work and learn, New Monaco aims to be a premier leisure and wellness destination.

“We want to create Canada’s healthiest sustainable community,” says Mark Holland, who himself won B.C. Planner of the year in 2010. “Our community ethos is centred on health and well-being, and the arts. Most importantly, we want to integrate healthy body, healthy mind, healthy environment and healthy economy. For us, our goal is to lead in social, cultural and environmental stewardship.” “The award from the Canadian Institute of Planners validates our vision,” says Managing Partner Mr.Tsang, a successful hospitality/property developer for more than 25 years.

The firm’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Scarlett, a prominent chartered accountant, says the project came to his notice after “Mr. Tsang and several Edmonton business leaders including Tom Fath of Fath Industries, Wayne Wallace of Dawson Wallace Construction Ltd., Robert Gilles of All Weather Window and Kin Ho, structural engineer of Ho and Laviolette engineers first found the property in mid 2007. I joined the New Monaco project in 2010 after watching it closely through the initial years.”

Unlike most other Master Planned developments which often start with residential, Mr. Scarlett notes, “New Monaco’s early phase focuses on pre-leasing to well established commercial and institutional tenants securing a strong base for the project and for its residential component.”

For Development or Investment opportunities, kindly contact:
Paul Tsang, 780 721 8880 paul.tsang@newmonaco.ca
Mark Holland, VP Development 250 713 9789 mark.holland@newmonaco.ca
Jeff Scarlett, Chief Financial Officer 780-975-1252 jeff.scarlett@newmonaco.ca




Real Estate - The new imperative to build a deeper relationship between people and place - Jan. 13, 2012

We have all watched the real estate industry change following the credit crunch in 2008/09 and I have recently found myself involved in quite a few conversations about what’s next in our industry and how this new financial and market reality will change what we did in the past.

The real estate boom prior to the crash was driven by many factors including public and financial policy, however, probably the single most important element was the widespread presence of the “investor” in the pre-sales process in new residential real estate development. There were a large number of investors across North America who would sign pre-sales deals while a project was still in the planning and design phase, and do so with no intention of occupying or renting the unit. These investors would often then sell the unit long before it was actually built and occupied. In some cases this “flipping” would happen several times and each time, investors could often pocket a tidy profit. Prices often rose so much over the several years between first presales and final occupancy that some developers included clauses in presales agreements that gave the developer a percentage of any increase in value if the unit was sold before occupancy.

Banks at that time relied on these presales to provide them with the confidence to release financing for a project and as such, this “investment commodity” perspective drove much of the real estate industry. While all of us look on our homes or personal revenue properties as assets, we don’t generally think of them as an abstract equity stock. However, this presale and re-sale speculation process drove a powerful “commodity consciousness” into the market.

Furthermore, in a steadily rising market real estate actually functions like an equity stock in that even if the project and the “experience” of the place does not offer a remarkable experience to its future residents, because all land values continue to rise, owners see an increase in value.

Following the crash however, things changed. Since 2009 the investor presales process slowed to a crawl in most real estate markets, with the exception of areas in BC’s Lower Mainland and a few other areas for select neighbourhoods or projects. In many BC markets today, developers often have to build without the confidence of a high level of presales. This reality requires significantly more personal equity investment on the part of the developer and greater uncertainty and risk. It is now also requiring a sharpened view of what we are building and how we are connecting to our targeted buyers.

This change now means that the developers have to pay greater attention to the “experience” of our buyers because in most cases purchasers will either live in the homes themselves or will be landlords, in which case the experience of the home for a prospective tenant is critical in determining both levels of rent and how easy it is to rent a unit to a good tenant. Each developer undertakes a different level of market analysis to shape and market their project. In the boom, this analysis was relatively straightforward as most anything would sell eventually – since so much of the real estate product was similar, it was mostly an issue of price. Today, since we have to assume that nearly every unit will be purchased by a home owner or small scale landlord, we need to look at our projects with a fresh perspective.

People make choices on what home to buy based on many things – and other than price, most can be put into two classes – “utility” (how well a home meets our functional needs) and “experience of place” (that intangible feeling of whether you feel at home in the neighbourhood or street). In the boom, we could get away with lower levels of performance on both “utility” and “place” because of the presence of investors helping ensure financing for many projects. Today, we have to understand who our buyers are and what they really feel about their homes and neighbourhoods at a deeper level. We have to go beyond the simple obvious things (bedrooms, media rooms, level of finishing, views, parking, faux arts and crafts details, etc…) and aim to create a more powerful emotional connection between our neighbourhoods and projects and those who will chose to live in them. The new financial realities we face are forcing us to recognize that from the very beginning of a project, we are building homes for real people with all their dreams, failures, complexities, traumas, messy relationships, fears and joys - not just speculative assets for investors. While in the end we’ll still be building bedrooms, garages, kitchens, etc… and these will become assets, the new reality requires that we spend a lot more time on the concept and premise behind our projects, and to do so with a different perspective on the buyer – one that reaches beyond their basic attributes to connect as deeply as possible with them emotionally.

This reality, triggered by an absence of large numbers of speculative investors, makes this is an interesting era to be creating homes and villages for residents in our communities – one which has many new unknowns as our primary markets go through some major life chances in the next 10 years (eg: Baby Boomers) and our economy emerges from a recession with new attributes.

And so we need to ask ourselves, what are we doing differently now in our development process to move away from “commodity consciousness” to “personality consciousness” in order to ensure we understand our future buyers in a very inward and compassionate manner? And presuming we accomplish this, we then have to ask how are we translating those new understandings into different approaches to design and development and not just marketing?

Projects that can connect deeply with a buyer and give them a powerful experience of “being at home” (physically and socially) will not only perform better financially, they will be amazing places to live and when put together, they will begin to transform neighbourhoods over time and make our communities into the most desirable in which to live. If we are successful at this, we will find a silver lining in this recessionary cloud – a new understanding of how to build better communities.




New Monaco and its High Tech connection - Dec. 5, 2011

You may be wondering why New Monaco’s development plans focus on High Tech. Did you know that the High Tech community is one of the fastest growing segments of Canada’s economy? So much so, that the Central Okanagan Economic Development Corp. has invested significant resources in attracting High Tech companies to the Okanagan. New Monaco believes in this vision and has been a big supporter of the COEDC and their project to connect Silicon Valley to the Okanagan called Metabridge.

This year New Monaco was a Seed Support Partner and Sponsor of the event which brought 25+ Executives from the Silicon Valley to the Okanagan. Conference attendees, from companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Nickelodeon and HP, had a chance to meet with emerging Okanagan tech businesses, as well as see for themselves the beauty of Okanagan’s wine country. The conference was a great success and will continue to be an event that we support in the future, as we continue to bridge our region to the brightest minds in the heart of California.

We believe that the tech community will embrace the New Monaco vision. By providing a vibrant place for tech companies to establish themselves, giving their employees and their young families what they want, and continuing to help them connect to the valley through programs like Metabridge, New Monaco will be a home to some great technology firms from the Okanagan and abroad.

For more information please go to www.metabridge.ca




New Monaco now recognized as an “ecodistrict” at American Conference - Oct. 31, 2011

I just had the privilege of being the MC for an amazing conference in Portland this past week – the Ecodistricts Summit, sponsored by the Portland Sustainability Institute. The conference focused around the emerging perspectives and practices of planning, working and developing at “district scales”.

The scale of an ecodistrict varies but New Monaco (at 125 acres) definitely qualifies. It was interesting to see the many ecodistricts now emerging in leading cities and communities around the world – including some very interesting ones in Europe.

We found that all of us were pursuing similar issues – green buildings, district energy systems, local food systems, education, housing diversity, non-auto focused transportation, local business networks, innovative water and waste water systems, and economic development. By working at the district scale, we are all finding better performance and better business cases for developing contemporary and high performing projects and cities.

It was interesting to see the new processes, technology, business models and consultation processes that have been emerging in the past few years around applying progressive development and sustainability goals to district scale projects. In addition, we noticed that the district scale “psychology” was a new and progressive perspective of both personal and group interest (competition and cooperation simultaneously) which could be seen to be juxtaposed with the anonymous, disconnected psychology of whole-city scale thinking or the largely singular self-interested psychology of an individual building (either for or against based on personal interests).

Our conclusion was that the future of sustainable cities will likely be as a puzzle of many district or neighbourhood scale eco-districts. This idea has interesting opportunities for Peachland with its new larger scale projects and existing neighbourhoods. Interestingly there were several teams from BC at the conference profiling their work.

New Monaco easily held its own with most of the highly progressive projects being talked about and we got Peachland and New Monaco formally positioned on the growing worldmap of ecodistricts.

http://www.ecodistrictssummit.com/




Mark Holland Interview - Sept. 30, 2011

Why did I leave a career as a consultant to join New Monaco?

I grew up in the Okanagan Valley (in the forests around Lumby) and it is exciting to be able to be back working in the Okanagan again – although the Okanagan is in a very different chapter than the one I grew up around. Following working as a city planner and Manager of the Sustainability Office in the City of Vancouver, I spent 10 years as a consultant focusing on sustainability and planning. During the last several years of that chapter, I had the privilege of being invited to work on the New Monaco project. As the vision for New Monaco unfolded and my personal and professional life evolved, I began to both get more excited about the New Monaco project.

In May 2011, I left consulting and joined the New Monaco project and team full time, as the VP of Development. In many years of consulting, I saw that the really interesting and innovative projects were that way usually because of leadership within the development company – and the partners in the New Monaco project wanted this project to be on the cutting edge wherever possible.

What excites me about New Monaco?

After many years of working on the more innovative projects in Vancouver as well as other communities, I have concluded that I think New Monaco is one of the most innovative projects of its size in BC. It is going to emerge as a leader in green development, progressive food systems, arts and culture, employment, housing and of course, health. We have completed or are working on comprehensive sustainable development rating systems for its buildings and design, full food system strategies, business plans for providing extra arts, cultural and recreational amenities, innovative district heating systems, and a philosophy of design based on enhancing the physical, social, mental and spiritual health of everyone who lives or works in New Monaco.

It is our goal to have New Monaco become the healthiest community in BC.

Where have we been and where are we going next?

The ownership group have been working on this plan with the community since 2007 and we formally applied for an Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment with a Local Area Structure Plan (ASP) in November 2010. We felt very honoured by a significant positive turnout at the public hearing in April, and by Council’s unanimous approval of our application in June 2011. We are very pleased that Peachland shares a similar vision and values to our team in supporting New Monaco’s vision of a highly progressive development that will bring significant jobs, supportive housing, amenities and medical services to the community.

We are now working on the next scope of issues with plans to submit in early 2012 for our zoning, phased development agreement and then subdivision. Following that we will apply for development permits (DP) in stages to build the infrastructure (water, sewer, roads) and several phases of buildings.

What to the next 6 months hold?

One of the most interesting aspects of New Monaco is that it is starting with a commercial and retail village instead of residential. While there will be some residential that accompanies early phases of development, we are working to secure tenants for our commercial and retail areas, including key medical companies, a university presence, high tech companies, and some significant food and wine retail. The next 6 months will be focused on building a 3-d digital model of the site, and especially the village area and using it to stimulate interest and commitments from key agencies, companies and investors.

We expect to show this 3-d model to the community during the consultation process around the village zoning and design in 2012.

We are further excited that we were able to hire Peachland’s James Blonde and his team from the amazing TV food show “Fit for a King” to do a full video that will provide additional information and experiences around the 3d model. If you haven’t met James, Lisa or Trance, or explored their website and what they are doing, I highly encourage you to do so - http://fitforaking.co/.

We have an ongoing commitment to consultation

Our experience of conversations and meetings with so many interesting and insightful residents and business people in Peachland has been extremely rewarding. We have made many refinements to our thinking and project design as a result of hearing what is important to the Peachland community. I am looking forward to many more conversations in Peachland over the upcoming months and years as we seek community advice on how to address issues and design options as we move forward.


To contact me with any comments or suggestions, please email info@newmonaco.ca and I will be sure to get back to you.

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