Kelson Group purchases Sports Central Lounge property; planned rental housing

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It has housed a fitness club, The Keg, and a number of pubs, the most recent of which was the Sports Central Lounge.

It has housed a fitness club, The Keg, and a number of pubs, the most recent of which was the Sports Central Lounge.

Soon, however, the distinctive large property at the corner of Summit Drive and Springhill will likely feature a multi-family rental complex.

Kelson Group Property Management has purchased a property at 1430 Summit Dr. If rezoning is approved, construction of the 100-unit complex is expected to begin in the second half of 2016, with completion slated for late 2017.

The 1.12 hectare (2.76 acre) property is now zoned C-8 (Commercial District Pub).

The 2016 appraisal puts the property and buildings at $ 1.79 million.

Jason Fawcett, vice president and general manager of the Kelson Group, said he had asked the city to change zoning as a medium density residence. He held a neighborhood meeting to unveil the plan to residents surrounding the property.

“There was no new [rental] construction over the past few years, ”said Fawcett, noting that the company will target a more upscale tenant, focusing on the elderly and empty nesters.

The proposed building will have four floors with underground parking.

City planning and development director Rod Martin said the proposal would come to council in about a month. Advisors will determine whether to submit the project to a public hearing.

Martin said the city generally favors higher density residences in the area because of its access to public transportation, shopping and its location on a thoroughfare.

The building represents a small but growing trend in the construction of specially designed rental housing in the city after decades of inactivity. The first of these is nearby on Summit Drive while a smaller building is under construction on Battle Street downtown.

“Some low interest rates are available for financing,” Fawcett said. “Second, rents have improved and are quite solid, especially for quality apartments and condominiums.”

The most recent Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation survey put the vacancy rate in Kamloops at 5.1%. Prices for a two-bedroom unit climbed 3.4% to an average of $ 893 per month in June of last year.

While there continues to be demand for student housing to serve Thompson Rivers University, Fawcett said this project is not targeting this market.

“At the moment, we don’t think it will be a student building. We have properties closer to the university that are better suited.”

Kelson Group has been in business for over 40 years and has expanded to nine cities in British Columbia and Alberta. Its head office is in Kamloops, where the company bought its first property in 1974 on Arrowstone Drive, a building it still owns.

Kelson Group is completing a rental housing project in Langley, which will be ready to be occupied in the summer. The company’s first rental project was Wellesley Court Apartments in Abbotsford, a 102-unit complex that opened last year.

The rental housing project will be the third to open within a block radius of Summit and Springhill. Two more have opened in recent years following a multi-year drought with new rental housing being built in Kamloops.


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