A major mixed-use development is in the works for Upper Arrow Heights.
A package unveiled at last week’s meeting of the Advisory Planning Commission (APC) lays out the plans for Mackenzie Landing, a development that could see more than 1,000 units built on a 35-acre parcel off Nichol Road.
“The idea is to build something higher density than Revelstoke is used to, with the view that would give quality new housing at the right price, hopefully more affordable pricing to both first time buyers, retirees and recreational users from out of town,” said David Evans, who owns the land along with his wife Shelley Sharpe.
Evans and Sharpe are also the developers planning on building the boutique treehouse hotel at the base of Revelstoke Mountain Resort. They recently moved to Revelstoke from Whistler.
The land in question consists of two large lots bounded by Nichol Road in the south, Upper Arrow Heights in the north, Hay Road in the east and Arrow Heights Elementary and the Arrow Drive trailer park in the west.
The proposal they are pushing is for a multi-phase development that would include townhomes, condominiums, row-houses, duplexes, fourplexes and single-family lots.
The plan is for high-density development along the south and east edges of the property, with density decreasing away from the main roads.
The property is currently zoned single-family residential. The developers have applied for a re-zoning that would see the property turned into a comprehensive development zone, with six sub-zones for different development types.
The sub-zones are described as follows:
— Zones A & B, located along Nichol Road, would be mixed-use, with adaptable building types that could include residential development or small commercial spaces.
— Zone C, located in the centre of the property, would feature high-density residential buildings, such as apartments, fourplexes, sixplexes and row housing.
— Zones D & E, mostly located at the north and east sides of the property, would feature medium-density housing, such as duplexes, fourplexes, sixplexes and row housing.
— Zone F, located near Hay Road, would be low-density residential, including duplexes and single-family lots.
Speaking to the Times Review, Evans said he sees a demand for affordable, low-maintenance properties in Revelstoke.
He’s proposing construction of a number of 500–1,000 square foot condos that would be targeted at younger people, retirees and out-of-towners looking to purchase property in Revelstoke.
“A modern, new built town home, while not giving you a front and backyard, it will offer you a house that is much lower in maintenance, that you can go to the bank and get financing on,” he said. “Talking to a lot of people in town, that’s a big problem for them.”
Dean Strachan, the manager of development services, said staff would be presenting council with a recommendation on how to proceed with the development.
“Because it is such a a major project, especially for Revelstoke, we want the community and council to be comfortable with the information they’re receiving, and that they have the tools to receive all the information,” he said at the Feb. 4 APC meeting.
If approved, it would be the biggest development in town since Revelstoke Mountain Resort was approved almost 10 years ago. The resort lands have a similar comprehensive development zoning.
Evans said he and his wife moved here for the outdoor lifestyle and beauty of Revelstoke, combined with the existence of a real downtown core. He sees potential for growth here. “I don’t subscribe to the notion it’s in the middle of nowhere,” he said. “I like to think of it as the centre of the Pacific Northwest.”
They purchased one half of the property about five years ago, Evans said, and the other half last January. He said he’s been working with consultant Fraser Blyth of Selkirk Planning & Design and the city planning department on the development since then and hopes to get the re-zoning approved this year.
Construction would begin with development on Nichol Road and would proceed as properties sell.
“If things go well, we think the development would be a five year process,” he said. “I think it’s exciting and new for Revelstoke and hopefully the majority of residents do as well.”