Would you like to subscribe to our newsletters?

Kamloops councillor applauds development of downtown Crown land for housing

BC Housing has plans for the Columbia Precinct in Kamloops as it looks to demolish two ministry buildings in the area.
BC Housing has plans for the Columbia Precinct in Kamloops as it looks to demolish two ministry buildings in the area.
Image Credit: GOOGLE

Upcoming demolition on the Columbia Precinct land in Kamloops has local leaders looking forward to more housing stock downtown.

What BC Housing has planned for the area isn't clear, but the Crown agency in charge of housing is looking to demolish two ageing office buildings owned by the province by September.

"It's about time," Coun. Dale Bass said of the upcoming construction.

The Columbia Precinct property is along Columbia Street beside Royal Inland Hospital, where there are office buildings and storage spaces for multiple ministries. For years the City has envisioned redevelopment in the area to bring shopping and housing to the area, connecting downtown with Peterson Creek Park.

"I'm glad that they've finally announced this to the city because it shows that this council has been pushing really hard, just like the last one did, for the things that we need the province to provide for our residents," she said.

READ MORE: BC government buildings in Kamloops to be demolished for housing

She said she couldn't comment on whether the City is aware of BC Housing's plans for the space after the demolition job.

Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson also deferred to BC Housing for any information on what might be in store for the area.

In an April 30 emailed statement from a BC Housing spokesperson, the Crown agency said it expects more information to be released "in the coming weeks."

READ MORE Semi strikes downtown Kamloops building

The demolition of 527 and 515 Columbia Street will "make way for future development," BC Housing said. reported on BC Housing's effort to find a contractor to tear down the two buildings on April 29, the same day the province announced another Kamloops property will be included within its BC Builds initiative.

Redevelopment of the former Northbridge Hotel, which the City of Kamloops bought more than two years ago, is now being overseen by the province. It's open for proposals from builders to redevelop the Tranquille Road property through BC Builds, which offers financing options and grants for private companies.

The program is meant to speed up development timelines for housing across the province in an effort to curb ever rising home costs in BC.

BC Housing did not say whether the downtown properties will also be included in the BC Builds initiative.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. SUBSCRIBE to our awesome newsletter here.