John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!
May 3, 2012 / 8:00 am
When we came to the city 34 years ago there wasn’t much talk about Dilworth Mountain. It was just up there.
The developer from Calgary, Jack Poole, co-founded Daon Development Corporation, the second-largest real estate development company in North America until its collapse in 1982.
Jack is the man who headed the committee trying and succeeding with the selection of Vancouver as the site for last year’s Winter Olympics.
Daon was about to go bankrupt big time; the Calgary Company had properties and development all over North America, like the skyscraper across the street from The Hyatt Hotel in downtown Vancouver.
A great deal of credit has to go to those visionaries in Daon’s Calgary office - who were years ahead of the clock. A mountain community in Kelowna B.C… when our local developers were thinking four or five homes was a large project.
These visionaries were ahead of their time.
Local talk was that Dilworth Mountain was too far away. People weren’t going to drive home and back everyday.
It went into receivership in 1987.
This is about the time Emil Anderson Construction decided it was time to collect the money they had invested in the project as the contractor for the infrastructure - the first phase of the development. Anderson was caught up in the bankruptcy as one of the major creditors. Their management team took a hard look at the prospects and said, “Let’s build houses.”
The price came down and they made an offer to the bank in Toronto to buy the entire mountain. I can just imagine the executive in Toronto handling the account and wondering, “what’s so important about this mountain in a small town in B.C. interior. On top of that, where is Kelowna anyway?”
Two million dollars later in Sept. 1989, the Emil Anderson folks owned a mountain.
It didn’t take them long to decide that they indeed would become the homebuilder something in construction they have never done before.
Dilworth homes was incorporated in 1989.
The city now has a community of 1400 homes and 3000 people happy to be there. It’s the right address.
I asked Mike Jacobs the president of Dilworth Homes to comment on what is still to be finished at the mountain.
“Opening in the next couple of weeks is a town home project at the summit of Selkirk at the very top. Twenty spectacular view homes - they are basically in a half circle, some of them have lake views and in others where they can almost see to Merritt. That’s the last of the high-end town homes.
We will have some town home land just above the railway tracks below are Cascade Point development and then we still own Mount Baldy just next to Dilworth,” he said.
Dirk Stroda is hosting the upcoming 1st Okanagan Real Estate Investors Summit in Kelowna.
He sends this message:
Our four presenters are experts in the field of Commercial Real Estate - Apartment Financing, Funding & Strategies.
This is a fantastic opportunity to hear first-hand what kind of investment opportunities are currently facilitated by Canada’s largest mortgage underwriters. No matter if you are planning to increase your real estate portfolio or
re-finance your existing one – you can’t afford to miss out on this event if real estate is your business.
Real examples of current projects will be presented to you at this event!
After 2008 the Real Estate industry in the Okanagan began to look very grim and predictions were ranging between devastation and (slim) optimism. But no matter were we are standing now – the question is: “Where are we going?”
The Okanagan Real Estate Investors Summit 2012 is a free event and is supported by First National and CMHC and the two largest apartment owner and manager associations in BC: BCAOMA & ROMS BC.
There is also a complementary lunch and that your generous donation at the door goes directly
to the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation … A tax receipt will be mailed to you.
I look forward to welcome you on May 9th at the Okanagan College.
All the best in investing,
Dirk Stroda – Host for the Okanagan RE Investors Summit 2012 –
The Truong family, the successful operators of the Mekong Chinese food restaurant on Harvey at Gordon, are celebrating their 25th year in the business with a special deal for their customers Saturday and Sunday 5:30pm.
It is a Chinese buffet and it’s a way for the family to give back and all the meals purchased all the money will go direct to the KGH for use in the new hospital.
I was thinking back to the beginning when the family started their restaurant in downtown Kelowna just across from the sails upstairs. They were in that location for eleven years before there was a move to this present location.
What a good family.
The biggest rumours in retail at the moment concern two high-end retailers from the U.S. are looking at Canada for future expansion. When Sears announced they were closing stores in Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa, Nordstrom from Seattle was quick to say they are looking at the possibilities of those three stores.
Then along comes word that Bloomingdale’s is talking a deal with The Bay to add a Bloomingdale’s to some of the major Bay stores in places like Vancouver and Calgary. These would just be sections set aside for the U.S. retailer.
I have been writing about this story for years and it all started because Walmart wanted to have a store the Salmon Arm area. It was on their list way back when Walmart was dealing with cities in the interior for stores in the marketplace. There were some long battles there too.
This month the action in court was dealing with The Neskolith Indian Band challenging the city’s handling of the SmartCentres development permit.
The Band said in their claim that the city of Salmon Arm had a constitutional obligation to consult with it before making a decision that would affect its aboriginal rights or title.
The band’s land is next to the SmartCentre property.
The court handed down a decision that dismissed the claim…
I wonder if this means SmartCentres will go ahead with their plans for construction of a shopping centre with Walmart as the anchor?
Walmart has already committed to a redesign on forty stores in Canada to bring them up to SuperCentre status. The company also purchased thirty-nine stores from the Zellers package.
Read more John Thomson articles
- John Thomson's I Didn't Know That! May 23
- John Thomson's I Didn't Know That! May 16
- John Thomson's I Didn't Know That! May 9
- John Thomson's I Didn't Know That! May 2
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