The North Shore Estates residential development on North Shore Road has begun its second phase.
North Shore Estates is part of a plan by the Ts’uubaa-asatx First Nation to transform that waterfront area of North Shore Road into a fully developed residential and recreational area.
Aaron Hamilton, the Ts’uubaa-asatx’s operations manager, said work has begun on the first two foundations of the 61 single-family homes that will make up phase two of the project, and up to 15 homes are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
He said all of the 26 housing lots in the project’s first phase have been sold, 18 are under varying stages of development and four have been completed.
Phase three, which will consist of another 32 homes, will begin at a yet to be determined date.
Hamilton said phases two and three will be done differently from phase one, in which customers just bought the lots and are responsible for building on them themselves.
“We have partnered up with a development company, KNS Developments in Duncan, and the homes in phases two and three will be sold when they are completed,” he said.
“From the First Nation’s perspective, the project is going better than we thought. We figured it would take three years to complete phase one, but it should be done in two years.”
Brock Dupont, who is in charge of sales and marketing at North Shore Estates, said the target market for phase two is young families, and the goal is to keep the house prices low at approximately $700,000 plus GST. He said the homes will be about 1,400 sq. ft., and have three bedrooms.
The Ts’uubaa-asatx have set aside approximately 30 acres of their 100-acre reserve for the development, but Hamilton said it’s expected that other land holdings will soon be coming to the First Nation that have development potential.
“We intend to use as much of our land for economic development as possible,” he said.
“We have a comprehensive community plan, and all of this derives from that.”
North Shore Estates is being constructed in an area that the First Nation is transforming into a variety of economic generators not only for the Ts’uubaa-asatx , but also for the overall community. That began with the 2017 opening of the First Nation’s Kaatza Adventures, a rental company that deals in kayaks, paddle boards, paddle boats and other water craft on the lakefront adjacent to the housing development, followed by the construction of a marina.
The Ts’uubaa-asatx have also completed a new $700,000 waterfront walkway along the lakefront.
Dupont said the construction work has been a real boost to the local economy so far, and is currently employing about 30 workers a day, plus up to 10 outside consultants.
Hamilton said that the approximately $900,000 expansion to the First Nation’s head office, which will now also have a much-needed nursing office, is also almost complete. He thanked the First Nations Health Authority and the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society for their help with the project.
“We’ve doubled the size of the office to about 3,000 sq. ft. and now it’s much more functional because we were all tripping over each other before,” Hamilton said.
“We will now have a nurse visiting here part time and we have a more dedicated space for the nurse to operate out of. The head office will also now be the main gathering place for the community in the event of emergencies, and we will have a daycare space. We’ll start small with that and have four or five kids and go from there. We’ll concentrate on our First Nations children at first, but we’re expecting to expand from there.”