Construction crews have broken ground on a large commercial project on Lake Country’s main street, kicking off what will be unprecedented commercial construction in Lake Country over the next year.
The Callahan Group out of Kelowna began work on its 27,000-square-foot, four building complex on Main Street last week, one of three commercial developments that will add as much as 80,000 square feet of commercial development to the municipality when completed.
“It’s good to see the commercial development in the community,” said Ryan Roycroft, Lake Country’s manager of economic development. “Eighty-thousand square feet of retail sounds like a lot, especially for a small community but it’s been a number of years since Lake Country has seen strong growth. This is a lot of that pent-up demand. The community has been growing briskly for a number of years and we’re finally at a point where a lot of national tenants are starting to notice Lake Country.”
The Callahan project, along with the Turtle Bay Crossing project near Tim Hortons are two major commercial developments, while a third project near the corner of Highway 97 and Berry Road (Dairy Queen) is also underway.
The Main Street development is something the district has been working on for many years and Roycroft says he’s hopeful the project helps create energy in the area.
“I think the Callahan project will be really good to build momentum,” he said. “I suspect we may start seeing interest in multi-family and mixed-use on Main Street. It’s going to be a matter of the right developer with the right direction to come along and produce something really special on Main Street.”
There are still several vacant lots that the District of Lake Country would like to see develop on Main Street, south of the Callahan project. A 6.5-acre parcel with land on both sides of Main Street is owned privately, as is another smaller piece (0.7 of an acre). Lake Country owns a one acre parcel on Main Street while south of Beaver Lake Road there is a large piece of agricultural land that is privately owned, also in the district’s future plans.
“There is still vacant land on Main Street and and we’re continuing to look to promote it to builders and developers,” said Roycroft. “The hope is that the Callahan project will build momentum. It’s a big visual prroject in a prominent location that starts to get people excited.”
Plans for the project are for the paving and cement work to be done before the fall with construction ramping up pretty quick, said Roycroft, who added the future of Main Street is still focused on bringing residential and commercial development together.
“The Main Street vision has always been to see residential above commercial,” he said. “The configuration may change but as we see the market heat up and more interest in Main Street—which we are already hearing a lot more inquiries than we were two years ago—we should see some different forms of development.”