TRU village to have impact on local real estate

'One of the main economic engine drivers in this city'

Jason Hewlett / Kamloops Daily News
March 7, 2013 01:00 AM

A university village at TRU will have an impact on the region's economy and, in turn, the real-estate market, the head of the Kamloops and District Real Estate Association said Thursday.

"They are a major employer and, as a result, one of the main economic engine drivers in this city," said Dave Peressini. "That affects our business."

Peressini spoke prior to Thompson Rivers University president Alan Shaver's keynote lecture at the association's annual general meeting.

Shaver provided a brief overview of the history of the campus and plans for future development to more than 50 realtors at Hotel 540 Thursday morning.

The campus is larger than the 10 square blocks that make up the city's downtown, but not all the land has been developed, he said.

The long-term plan is to densify development and renovate existing buildings, he said. An example is the Old Main building, which has been renovated to include the university's law school.

"This is something that is very modern and part of a growing trend," said Shaver.

Although in the planning stage, the village concept will provide students and staff with various amenities, including a hotel, pub, entertainment and retail facilities, and residences, he said.

"Some people really like the nightclub and cabaret idea," said Shaver.

A realtor asked Shaver what the proposed housing would be. Shaver said the plan calls for townhouses plus low-, medium- and high-rise apartments.

As for the market, Peressini said MLS sales in 2012 were one per cent above levels in 2011. Such has been the trend for a number of years.

"We should see some improvement in the market during the later half of this year and into 2014," he said.

Peressini said the average price of a Kamloops home is $356,000.

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