The North Shore of Kamloops is undergoing an unparalleled resurgence.
The area has grown more than 60 per cent since 2006, new construction projects have been popping up along Tranquille Road and the Kamloops North Shore Business Improvement Association is busy rebranding the area to simply The Shore.
While there’s no single thing responsible for The Shore’s upswing, Joshua Knaak and his company, Arpa Investments, have been behind some of it. Knaak noted his company’s first project was The Vistas on Battle, a 34-unit condo project downtown at Battle Street and Eighth Avenue.
“While we were doing that, the opportunity came up to pick up some other pieces of property and it sort of seemed like all of them were in this North Shore area,” he said.
Knaak and his partners, brothers Jasbir and Parmjit Mahal, now have a number of projects on the go along the Tranquille corridor, including The Station at 280 Tranquille Rd. and at Spirit Square.
Knaak said it was during a six-month stay on Elm Avenue that he started to see the potential in the area.
“That was when I started coming to Red Beard on a daily basis and there’s lots of different places that we sort of started to discover,” he said.
“And that was when I would say I got the idea, when we really started to see the potential of what the North Shore has. Not just the potential, we saw what the North Shore has and the potential of what it could be and got acquainted with the community.”
Knaak said Arpa Investments has probably five or six years of development already lined up for the North Shore, including affordable housing for seniors and 7,000 square feet of commercial space on the main floor of Spirit Square. And larger housing options are on their way.
Knaak said a market survey of what people would want to see in the Spirit Square development yielded many requests for three-bedroom condos.
“‘We have a family, we want the walkability that the Tranquille corridor has to offer. And we want to be able to find that for our family,’” Knaak said in recounting response.
He said the city’s stability played a role in drawing him to Kamloops.
“You get that when one four of your six largest employers are government,” Knaak said. “I think nothing’s ever recession-proof, but I do like the stability of the market here.”
Knaak is also happy to see the public’s impression of the North Shore changing.
“I think that reputation is starting to change as people come over and say, it’s not scary over here,” he said.
“There’s growth happening and I think that’s true throughout the city, really, but particularly here. It’s a place where re-development is really welcomed by the community.”