Huge development that could double Peachland's population picking up steam
A massive housing, commercial and educational development is gearing up to start building as many as 2,800 homes on the northern end of Peachland.
The New Monaco project – estimated to be worth $1 billion on a B.C. Government major projects report – will be built on 125 acres between Highway 97 and the Okanagan Connector.
“It seems they have been fairly active the lasts couple of weeks,” Darin Schaal, Peachland’s director of planning and development, told iNFOnews.ca.
Schaal met with company representatives last week and suggested they check to see that their current plans match the zoning that was approved by Peachland council in 2014.
Bryan Hawkey, a principal with AMC Developments in Vancouver who is working with New Monaco on the project, confirmed he met with Peachland officials on April 13, but did not comment further.
The New Monaco website notes the Ministry of Transportation agreed to give it access from the Okanagan Connector in 2019.
Design, and the start of infrastructure construction, is slated for this year with buildings going up next year. Occupation of the first buildings is expected for the spring of 2024.
Peachland currently has a population estimated, by the Province of B.C., to have reached 5,781 last year so, if 2,800 housing units are built, that could double the population.
How long that will take is unclear but Schaal pointed out that similarly sized projects in other cities have taken up to 40 years to finish.
There are two large parcels of land in the development so the next step is for New Monaco to put in an application with Peachland to subdivide whatever area it wants to develop first.
The first phase of construction is listed on New Monaco's website to be the “commercial core.”
The 2011 area structure plan for the site refers to 10,000 square metres (more than 100,000 square feet) of retail space and 15,000 square metres (more than 160,000 square feet) for an office hub.
To put that into perspective, Kelowna’s existing Costco store is about 135,000 square feet and the 23-storey Landmark 7 building, currently under construction in Kelowna, is 224,000 square feet.
Schaal said, in the meantime, they will be looking for a consultant to work for the municipality on the project.
“Peachland is a small town,” he said. “Our planning department is very small so we do not have anywhere near the capacity to manage a project like this. This is what the discussion has been, so far, is obtaining planning services to work on that project. If we were to do it in-house, even with all the planning staff we have, we couldn’t keep up.”
It’s not unusual for Peachland to hire planning consultants for larger projects and have the developer pay for them, he said.
The plans for New Monaco, as outlined on its website, includes a village centre commercial area, an “international university centre,” a private high school, a health care centre, a technology hub, a wine centre, spa, hotel and conference centre and an “Interactive Culinary, Entertainment Leisure Emporium.”
The university centre will “integrate programs from many universities into an educational destination. This centre will bring the best and brightest and create a high energy culture of advanced learning and research. “It will secure thousands of students, faculty, visiting scholars and families as a social and cultural foundation of the neighbourhood,” New Monaco says on its website.
The Culinary, Entertainment Leisure Emporium will feature “pubs, wine rooms, and live music stages indoors and out,” the website states. “Our signature Street Food Alley will attract foodies from all cultures and our pop up fashion booths will showcase the latest creations from local designer to sought after brands.”
The housing is planned to range from single-family to medium-density condominium buildings along with seniors housing.
There are to be more than 20 acres of parks.
Published by Rob Munro, Kelowna News