A housing development described by Lake Country Mayor James Baker as the largest single development ever in the municipality has broken ground on an elaborate new $3.5 million clubhouse for its residents.
The Lake Club, as it will be known, will be a large two-storey, glass-fronted building complete with an outdoor swimming pool, hot tubs, a fitness facility, a barbecue area, outdoor kitchen and catering facilities, as well as storage for resident’s watercraft, like canoes and kayaks.
It will sit just above a public beach that Vancouver-based Macdonald Development is creating as part of the Lakestone project.
The project, just off Okanagan Centre Road West, is being built on 550 acres and when completed, will include 1,356 homes.
“This is Okanagan living at its best and Lake Country is the place to do it,” said Baker.
The plans for Lakestone go back nearly nine years when the former owner and first developer of the property approached the district with plans.
Baker said the district saw an opportunity to not only help with the growth of the municipality but also to get some much-needed off site improvements done to both nearby Okanagan Centre Road West — which leads to the development — and to area water and sewer services.
When the former developer balked, Macdonald bought the property.
Owner Rob Macdonald said he saw the potential of the stunning hillside site that overlooks Okanagan Lake right away.
Macdonald’s company has experience building here, having developed the nearby Lakes development, as well as the Outback in Vernon.
In his remarks, he praised the district, saying it was very easy to work with, not an experience he has had working in Vancouver on many projects.
Lakestone, which has already sold many of the lots in the first of four offerings it plans to make as part of the the first phase of development, is expected to include some duplexes higher up on the site, close to Okanagan Centre Road West, said Macdonald.
On the site, it will also create three new roads that will be turned over to the municipality.
The first phase, known as Waterside, will include the public beach, a small marina and a surrounding public park, as well other green space, trails and the private clubhouse.
Baker said as part of the deal with Macdonald, the municipality is getting improvements made to Okanagan Centre Road West, as well as the ability to tap into the water reservoir being built for the development and that will help other area homes having difficulty.
It is also getting sewer brought to the area and several non-Lakestone houses will be able to connect.
“This is a great development for Lake Country,” said Baker.
According to Macdonald, when you factor in the cost of the development, including the infrastructure his company is providing, the economic activity will be close to $1 billion by the time of build-out.
The time frame is expected to be over the next 10 to 20 years depending on the market.