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Greg Norman and Norm Porter of Treegroup developments. (Photo: Kelly Hayes)
Greg Norman and Norm Porter of Treegroup developments. (Photo: Kelly Hayes)

Shark sees a gem in Peachland

by - Story: 48929

The stage is set for some major growth in Peachland with a little help from pro golfer Greg Norman.

Norman (aka The Shark) was in Peachland Monday to announce that he's redesigning the Ponderosa golf course which closed after the clubhouse caught fire three years ago.

At Norman's side was developer Norm Porter of Treegroup who announced that his company is investing more than $1 billion into the tiny community south of Kelowna.

Porter and his group have purchased more than 400 acres surrounding the golf course where there are plans to build up to 2,000 homes (10% affordable housing), village centre, winery and hotel.

"We don't want to create a conflict with Peachland. We want to create a project with what Peachland already has," says Porter who notes that the Westbank First Nation is also a partner in the mega project with more than 100 acres invested.

Peachland's has roughly 2,200 homes and a population of approximately 5,000. Porter's project would essentially double the size of Peachland stretched out over 20 years.

He says priority one is bringing the Ponderosa Golf Course up to par and that's where Greg Norman comes in.

He says it will be a signature course designed for pros and the public.

"It's a culmination of everything and very rarely do you get that. So from our perspective, we're very fortunate to be involved here. It will turn out to be a gem."

He says the goal is to use the natural features of the course, with the pine beetle in mind.

"Mother nature sent these bugs here for a reason and we have to factor those in. It's not something we don't think about in the long run and make those adaptations as you go forward. The pine beetle is currently moving through the area."

Construction of the new golf course and clubhouse will begin immediately, with completion set for spring 2011.

Porter estimates the entire project will create 7,000 construction jobs and 200 indirect jobs in the community when completed.

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