July 28, 2016 - 9:00 PM
KELOWNA - The B.C. construction company that’s taken control of the former Lucaya project has a no-problem attitude about finishing off the barely started high-rise on Sunset Drive in Kelowna.
“This is not a challenge for us. The last one we did in Surrey Central was also 21 stories,” vice-president Leonard Kerkhoff says. “We have the capability of doing big projects with the attention to detail and quality that’s needed.”
Kerkhoff says his company has taken a 70 percent ownership position in the $60-million project with Jingon Development, a Chinese company that bought the site in 2015.
Geotechnical and structural engineers are examining the foundation with plans to begin construction in September, he adds.
The company has rebranded the building 1151 Sunset Drive, and will follow exactly the development permit granted to the original developers in 2007, Kerkhoff says, avoiding a costly repeat of the development application process.
“We are very much working within those original paramenters,” Kerkhoff says. “But it’s a nice looking building and there’s no need to change the exterior.”
Interior design of the units have been updated, Kerkhoff says, and will be on show within three weeks at a new display centre at Manhattan Drive and Guy Street.
Kerkhoff says neighbourhood reaction has largely been joy somone is finally moving ahead with the long-delayed project and doing something with the rusting foundation that has sat there for eight years.
“They’re greeting us with open arms,” he adds.
With real estate sales brisk in the Central Okanagan, Kerkhoff expects demand will be strong for the 117 one-, two- and three-bedroom units, plus the seven ground-level townhouses.
“It’s a wonderful location in a nice, built-up area close to the water, close to the arena and downtown,” he says.
If construction starts on schedule, Kerkhoff predicts a two-year construction timeline to complete the project and says market conditions are right and the company has faith in the resiliency of the Kelowna condo market, at least in the short term.
“We need the market to be good while our presales are on. After that, it’s going to be a matter of executing and delivering the project,” Kerkhoff says.
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