Penticton, a small city nestled in the heart of wine and mountain biking country in the Okanagan in British Columbia, is witnessing a mini boom, thanks to people relocating from expensive urban centers and opting for a more gratifying lifestyle and work. According to the most recent census statistics, the city has experienced a near 10 per cent growth spike in a five-year stretch. As a result, the city is responding with a plan to densify a large commercial area with new developments of around six- to eight-storeys, although 14- to 15-storeys are allowed in other areas. The slow, sustainable growth means the city can plan for density and infrastructure accordingly.
The city is putting the word out that it is open to development, particularly in the North Gateway Plan district, which will accommodate more than 2,250 residential units once built out. The city is making use of city-owned land and entering into partnerships to develop hotels and workforce housing, which are essential to the local hospitality industry, a critical economic driver.
Penticton is becoming an attractive place for businesses and development, but it does have its challenges as it struggles to keep up with the demand for housing. Despite this challenge, Penticton offers a lower-cost housing alternative and quality lifestyle, attracting people to invest or relocate from larger urban centers.
Rachael and Paul Cabrera chose to move to Penticton because they were ready to semi-retire. The Cabrera’s sold their Squamish home for $1.45-million before fees and bought a new 3,600-sq.-ft. Penticton house for $1.4-million in a new subdivision, including taxes and custom improvements. The Penticton region is the equivalent of California’s Napa Valley, with about 88 wineries in the region. Ms. Cabrera does some HR consulting and works at a winery in the summer. She and her husband Paul, both in their fifties, have always been food and wine enthusiasts, making Penticton the perfect place for them.
– Penticton’s general manager of community services and economic development is Anthony Haddad.
– The North Gateway Plan district will add residential units, hotel rooms, workforce housing, and 30,000 square feet of commercial space to Penticton’s infrastructure.
– Penticton saw most of its development from the 1950s to the 70s, and has only seen population increases of around 0.8 per cent in previous years.
Penticton is witnessing a mini boom, attracting people from larger urban centers who are seeking a lower-cost housing alternative and a quality lifestyle. The city is responding to this trend with a plan to densify and accommodate sustainable growth, welcoming development opportunities and partnerships. However, Penticton will need to tackle the challenge of keeping up with the demand for housing.
In conclusion, Penticton’s response to sustainable growth and development opportunities presents an attractive alternative to larger urban centers and lifestyle choices. A more compact and sustainable approach from a smaller community would reap multiple benefits in the long run for investors and developers alike.