Castanet is revisiting the top stories of an eventful 2023. Today, for our Kamloops business story of the year, we look at a trend of increased development activity taking place north of the river.
A drive along the Tranquille corridor past a number of construction sites confirms a trend seen in City of Kamloops data — the North Shore is alive with development, even on track to outpace other parts of the city.
Joshua Knaak of ARPA Investments, the development firm behind several projects on the North Shore, said he’s seen the area change since the company’s first neighbourhood build got underway about seven years ago.
“One of the things that’s funny is now we’re starting to hear questions about parking, where are people going to park. I think that’s a terrific issue to have here on the North Shore, because if we have parking issues, it means we actually have attractions,” Knaak said.
“Obviously it’s something that needs to get resolved, but I think that it’s a great problem to have.”
The City of Kamloops’ development, engineering and sustainability division reports that in 2021, it received 13 development permit applications for the North Shore and 39 for the rest of the city.
In 2022, the city received 18 North Shore development permit applications and 42 for the rest of the city.
As of last month, the city said it has received 21 development permit applications for the North Shore so far this year, compared to 19 for the rest of the city.
Jeremy Heighton, executive director of the North Shore Business Improvement Association, said he expects about seven buildings to go up in the area in the next couple of years — potentially as many as 11. He noted developments take some time to rise, and the process behind those specific builds started years ago.
“We’re seeing a draw to the North Shore for a number of reasons. Number one, when you’re putting [tens of millions] into a project, I think you need to know the community is going to embrace that project,” Heighton said.
“Here on the North Shore, I think we’re very open to the next steps.”
That observation is shared by Knaak, who moved his family to the North Shore in 2016, where they “fell in love with the neighbourhood and with the potential that we saw.”
Knaak said he noticed underused land on the North