Nelson, Castlegar and Trail see record growth with new housing and commercial developments

Despite challenging times, commercial and housing developments have seen healthy and consistent growth in the West Kootenay


The Hall Street development is Nelson’s newest affordable housing development. — Image courtesy Nelson CARES Society

Across the West Kootenay region, communities have seen consistent and steady growth when it comes to new building projects and developments, especially in areas like affordable housing.

This comes as a bit of a surprise to many who work in the construction sector. Despite predictions at the beginning of the pandemic of a downturn in the industry, the opposite has happened: record growth. The City of Nelson recently announced that 231 building permits were issued in 2021—a record number for the city. Building permits for residential renovations lead the way, followed by new home builds and multi-unit housing.

Check out our list of the top commercial and residential developments currently underway in the region, including at least three new affordable housing developments in the City of Nelson.

Kutenai Landing land parcel, Nelson:

The three-hectare plot of land, formerly known as the Kutenai Landing parcel, has been sold to Okanagan developer Mike Culos of Culos Developments. The Kelowna-based residential and commercial builder was also the company behind two other projects in Nelson—the 43-unit affordable housing complex known as Hall Street Place and the Anderson Gardens Project on Nelson Avenue. Future plans for the waterfront site are unknown at this time.

Interior offices at Traction on Demand.

The Nelson office of Traction in Demand in the Legion building underwent a major renovation. — Photo courtesy Traction on Demand

Traction on Demand building renovation, Nelson:

One of North America’s largest dedicated Salesforce consulting and app development firms, Traction on Demand, has roots in the community of Nelson. They recently completed renovations on their new office in the historic Legion building. By working alongside local engineers, architects and contractors, the team created a high-spec and innovative office environment that pays homage to the spirit of the Legion. Read our in-depth article about Traction in Demand and the evolution of a new model for business offices.

Hall Street Place/Nelson CARES Society - Nelson:

In a community that has seen a zero per cent vacancy rate for the past several years, new affordable and subsidized housing projects are a welcome addition. Thanks to the Nelson CARES Society and grants from BC Housing and the Columbia Basin Trust, the new 43-unit Hall Street Place opened to tenants in the summer of 2021. The new building is the first of three new affordable housing developments to be built in Nelson in seven years.

Exterior view of Deane Terrace.

Deane Terrace is a new urban living development located in a beautifully restored heritage building in downtown Nelson. — Image courtesy Deane Terrace website

Deane Terrace - Nelson:

Deane Terrace is a high-end, urban living development featuring one- and two-storey townhomes in a beautifully renovated and restored historical building near downtown Nelson. The mixed-use building also features a number of commercial spaces on the street level. A number of units are already sold, but four townhomes will be available for purchase in the summer/fall of 2022.

Lakeside Place/Nelson CARES Society - Nelson:

The Lakeside Place redevelopment project involves the demolition of the existing structure on the property and replacing it with a modern, four-storey building that will house seniors and people with disabilities. The project will feature a mix of 47 studio and one- and two-bedroom affordable units.

Herridge Place/SHARE Housing Initiative Society - Nelson:

Owned and operated by the SHARE Housing Initiative Society, Herridge Place is a new apartment building specifically intended for single people and couples who work in the hospitality, retail and service sectors in Nelson. It features 39 one-bedroom apartments and opened to tenants in October 2021.

Artist's rendition of student housing in Nelson.

An artist rendering of the two-storey student housing building on Nelson’s Silver King Campus that will provide a total of 36 beds. — Image courtesy Selkirk College

Selkirk College student housing - Nelson and Castlegar:

With extremely low vacancy rates in the region, Selkirk College and the Province of B.C. is making sure that local students have access to safe, secure and stable accommodation. A new $24.5-million project will provide new student housing buildings at both the Castlegar and Nelson campuses. There will be a new 112-bed facility in Castlegar and a 36-bed student housing building on the Silver King Campus in Nelson. Both projects will also feature two family units and two accessible units and should be welcoming students by September 2023.

Artist's rendition of Castlegar Chamber building.

An artist’s rendition of the new Castlegar Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre building. — Image courtesy Castlegar Chamber of Commerce/Cover Architectural Collaborative Inc.

New Castlegar Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre building - Castlegar:

The Castlegar Chamber of Commerce is excited to see long-held plans for a new building come to fruition, thanks to funding from the CleanBC Communities Fund and the Chamber itself.

The project is expected to break ground in the spring of 2022. The new building will be built to Passive House–certified building standards, a leading standard for low-energy efficient buildings. The planned 7,000-square foot building will also house the Castlegar Visitor Centre, co-working spaces and a multi-use space, and it will serve as a community hub for tourism and economic development.

Habitat for Humanity/City of Castlegar partnership - Castlegar:

A six-unit multi-family development is being proposed on a city-owned parcel of land. In an effort to increase the availability of affordable housing units in the community, the project is a partnership between the City of Castlegar and the Habitat for Humanity Southeast BC Society. The proposed development, located at 560 - 8th Street, would create stable and affordable homes for six local low-income families.

Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital upgrades - Trail:

The next phase of upgrades at Trail’s Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital are underway and scheduled to be completed in 2023. Redevelopment on the aging building began in 2018 and included an expanded emergency department and a two-storey addition. Work on the first phase of the project was completed in September 2020. The current phase of renovations will see a new ambulatory care clinic and expanded pharmacy.

Trail Memorial Centre restoration - Trail:

With limited activity in the Trail Memorial Centre thanks to COVID-19, staff have taken the opportunity over the past few months to conduct renovations at the building. The old library space was gutted to create a new multi-purpose space, new windows were installed inside the arena and a long-hidden window that overlooks the kids’ arena was discovered. A recent donation from the Murphy Family Foundation will go towards future enhancements to the kids arena, including changes to flooring material and installation of new insulation. The upgrades, slated to be completed by mid-2023, mean the kids arena will be able to open nearly year-round.

The Trail Memorial Centre.

The Trail Memorial Centre. — Photo courtesy

Julie Matchett

Julie Matchett is a writer and content coordinator for KPI Media. She ranks as a 7 on the Introversion vs. Extraversion scale out of 100, which might help to explain why she chose a career of quiet contemplation as opposed to public speaking. View all of Julie Matchett’s articles

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