Partners who have worked diligently to make a master planned community overlooking Skaha Lake a reality, celebrated the opening of its Discovery Centre on Friday.
Skaha Hills, off Highway 97, at the south end of Penticton, will eventually consist of up to 600 homes and include a winery and vineyard, as well as other amenities.
Penticton Indian Band Chief Jonathan Kruger was quick to thank past leadership, the current council and all involved in the development.
"These are good times," he told the big crowd gathered for the grand opening."I'm thankful for our relationship with the city, the mayor and the past mayor, now the MLA, and the partnerships that we have.Things are falling into place."
Skaha Hills is a Greyback Developments project in partnership with the Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation.
Its 550-acre site on the South Okanagan hillsides and bench lands will be a $250M mixed residential/commercial community, with a $5.2 million winery and vineyard being built and operated by Stage West Hospitality.
It will develop in seven phases and at full build out will feature the homes with protected lands surrounding the community, golf, beachfront access, hiking trails, pools, a clubhouse and sports courts.
Jason Pechet, president of Stage West Hospitality, said he was really excited to see the project move ahead.
"It's definitely a passion project we've had for a very long time," he said. "With vines planted by the end of May and the winery built in 2015."
Curt Jansen, who heads up sales and marketing for Skaha Hills, told those in attendance when you have a great team with a great vision, special things happen.
"It's a magnificent site and we didn't want to wreck it, we wanted to enhance it," he said. "And we are on track to be one of the most energy efficient housing developments in all of Canada."
He added there were three things of importance, the first being to walk away knowing the PIB deserves a pat on the back for what they have accomplished, Greyback is building something really spectacular here and the guy who was MC for the event could have been prime minister.
The man Jansen was heaping praise on for his hard work was Chris Scott, both the MC and CEO of Skaha Hills.
The celebration ended with a ribbon cutting in front of the state-of-the-art Discovery Centre, as heavy equipment worked in the hills above.
The new community is hosting a public grand opening of the centre at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 5.
The centre will be open Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Closed on Sundays, but open by appointment anytime outside office hours.