CITYSCAPE – Land swap paves way for new development at Spirit Square

Artist’s conception of new development at Spirit Square.

The Tranquille Road shopping corridor will get two new commercial buildings as part of a development adjacent to Spirit Square.

Details of the plan were announced today by Arpa Investments, which will swap land with the City of Kamloops to make it happen.

The land deal involves several parcels of land on MacKenzie Avenue and Yew Street. Subject to rezoning, the Spirit Square deal includes:

  • the purchase of 426 and 428 MacKenzie Avenue from Arpa Investments for $408,000
  • the sale of 35,252 sq. ft. of City property to Arpa Investments for $680,000, including:
  • 103 and 107 Yew Street and a portion of the adjacent roadway
  • a portion of Spirit Square
  • parts of 426, 438, and 440 MacKenzie Avenue
  • the 60-year lease of part of Spirit Square and parts of 426, 438, and 440 MacKenzie Avenue for $1 to accommodate an affordable housing project

Along with the Spirit Square land deal, the property located at 577 and 591 Royal Avenue, commonly referred to as the Thrupp Manor site, is proposed to be rezoned and subdivided to accommodate five single-family residential lots.

That parcel was initially identified for an affordable housing opportunity, but was later determined to be unsuitable for the density of the proposed project.

“We truly believe in the potential of the area,” said Joshua Knaak, a partner in Arpa Investments.

“We worked in consultation with the community with the Friends of McDonald Park Association, North Shore Central, the NSBIA, and business owners.

“They said that they’re looking for developments that help revitalize the area, increase density along the Tranquille Commercial District, and will complement the vibrancy of the community.”

He said one of the key factors was that residents wanted a community oriented development that maximized the potential use of Spirit Square.

“We’ve listened and we believe this development will accomplish those key requests.”
The Spirit Square Kamloops development emerged from a vision to redevelop and revitalize the currently vacant lot tucked in behind Spirit Square on Kamloops’ North Shore. The project will include:

  • Two mixed use buildings centering on Spirit Square.
  • One building to feature 7,000 square feet of restaurant/commercial space with approximately 33 market units.
  • One building to feature 5,200 square feet of commercial/office space with 43 affordable rental units for seniors, owned and operated by ASK Wellness Society.
  • About 75 surface parking stalls.

An open house will be held at Red Beard Roasters on Sunday, Feb. 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to explain more about the development.

About Mel Rothenburger (7707 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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