British Columbia’s fifth largest city could be the next to boom in our real estate rich province. Kamloops is home to more than an estimated 90,000 people and sees a population growth rate of 1.39% annually, which should increase in the coming years as people and employers put a larger focus on livability and a continued repositing of jobs takes place post-pandemic.
Kamloops, which promotes itself as Canada’s Tournament Capital, is becoming much more than just a hub for mining and lumber. An expanding Thompson Rivers University, a growing downtown core, a development industry seeing increasing demand for both rentals and condo sales, the current construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline through the region, topped off with housing prices seeing a ±20% increase over the pandemic firmly puts Kamloops on the map for real estate investors and companies looking for locations in BC’s secondary markets.
In 2020, Invictus Properties, in partnership with A&T Project Developments, launched their The Hive project, the first commercial development in downtown Kamloops since 2007. What could be viewed by some as an aggressive office development of up to four 6-storey office buildings with animated retail at grade has proven to be just what the market was asking for. Sales and leasing kicked off with the first building, a 55,000 SQFT professional centre on the corner of 5th and Lansdowne, which has been met with huge success, boasting incoming companies such as BDC, Smile Dentistry, Urban Systems, McMillan Dubo Law Group, and William Wright Commercial. Set for completion in summer 2022, the project could transform this city block into Kamloops’ premier business district.
In August, the Vancouver Commercial Real Estate Podcast welcomed Bryan Pilbeam, Vice President of Invictus Properties, to discuss The Hive and everything Kamloops.
“We’re very excited for the future of Kamloops. We’ve seen the population steadily grow and we know that momentum will continue. We’re excited to develop the future phases of The Hive, which will allow more companies to come to Kamloops,” he said.
Bryan sees Kamloops as a steady market with increasing demand for both residential and commercial in the coming years. “There are great residential opportunities and lower price points for people to get in on in Kamloops, and the recreational opportunities will keep coming. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 20% growth in the next five years.”
When asked how COVID has impacted Kamloops, Bryan remains optimistic. “The construction industry has done extremely well, and so have the professional firms. Our tenants in the law firms and accounting firms have never been busier,” Bryan said. “There’s an excitement about what is ahead for Kamloops and BC in general—a lot of business is happening. I think it’s an overall rising tide that is lifting all boats. There is a lot of opportunity for people who come to town.”
Kamloops has yet to see the run up in commercial demand that Victoria and Kelowna have experienced, but all indicators show that it is not far behind in seeing that glass ceiling on pricing soon to be smashed. As 2022 nears, William Wright Commercial is set to open their sixth commercial brokerage office in downtown Kamloops and looks to get a foothold on the Kamloops commercial market as the city continues to grow in the coming years.
Written by Cory Wright for William Wright Commercial
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