Big things are happening to the small town of Squamish, BC. This year two much anticipated (and much contended) large-scale developments are in their final stages of becoming a reality. What was once a sleepy logging town half way between Vancouver and Whistler is emerging as a thriving centre, blessed with abundant natural beauty and attracting people from around North America both as tourists and residents. The seeds were planted years ago for the Squamish Oceanfront Development and Garibaldi at Squamish, and the fruits of the seeds are finally blossoming in 2016.
The Squamish Oceanfront Development
On February 3rd 2016 the Squamish Oceanfront Development took a huge leap forward when the District of Squamish transferred 100 acres of district land to a joint venture developer, Newport Beach Developments Limited Partnership. Over 11 years in the making, this significant moment set in motion Squamish’s dream of creating a multi-use ocean-side community, truly encapsulating the regions designation of Sea to Sky.
Plans are for the development to break ground this Spring, beginning with the main peninsula road and initial work on the oceanfront park. The grand plan will see the construction of residential units, parks and trials, commercial space and public amenities such as a five-star hotel, arts-centre and satellite campus linked to a University. In total it is expected the oceanfront will house 9000 residential units and an estimated 6500 people will live in the area.
The waterfront park which is the first phase of development will surely please the outdoor enthusiasts in Squamish, who make up the majority of the town. The park will feature a winds-sports beach, two boat launches, a sailing centre, a waterfront walkway, community open spaces and green spaces, plus a $150,000 public art contribution. This marketing video of the Oceanfront Community encapsulates how this new development is set to re-shape the landscape and transform the town.
Garibaldi at Squamish (GaS)
Garibaldi at Squamish, an all season destination ski resort at Brohm Ridge just north of Squamish, has received environmental approval clearing a major hurdle in the development process. There have been 40 conditions stipulated that must be met before construction commences, but those in favour of this mega-resort see this latest news as a clear indicator that Garibaldi at Squamish will finally come into existence after over 25 years of planning and negotiations.
The 3.5 billion dollar resort will consist of 124 ski runs, 668 hectares of terrain, three gondolas, 18 chairlifts and three lodges on the mountain. The development plans to have three inter-connected Villages featuring 1700 hotel units, 5736 housing units accommodating up to 22,000 people.
Garibaldi at Squamish has the Sea to Sky divided, those in favour of the development say it will provide immense economic benefits to the region, and those opposed fear negative environmental impact as well as the negative economic repercussions on Whistler Blackcomb, only 30 minutes away.
The site of the development, Brohm Ridge, is a pristine wilderness area which has significant meaning to First Nations people. Squamish Nation’s Chief Ian Campbell recently told the media, “It’s a very sacred mountain to our people so we want to ensure that the flanks of that mount are being protected for continued cultural use of hunting, gathering … all of the things that our members continue to enjoy as they’ve done for innumerable generations.”
Although the ground isn’t broken yet, it’s looking optimistic that Garibaldi at Squamish will be going ahead. The four-season resort is expected to take up to 20 years to build with over 5000 jobs created in the process.
Other Squamish Development News
Other exciting development projects underway in 2016 include Abbey Lane, Skyridge and Newport Landing. There are several other development applications awaiting approval with the District and the controversial Cheekeye Fan could be moving closer to a reality.
Squamish is firmly positioning itself as one of the most desirable destinations to live in Western Canada (and some might say North America). Developments like the Squamish Oceanfront and Garibaldi at Squamish are sure to generate stronger interest and demand for the region. Last year saw one of the strongest real estate markets in recent history with 2016 expected to continue at the same pace. Exciting times are in store for Squamish, make sure to stay up to date with local developments and properties for sale.
New to Squamish and want to see what all the hype is about? Organize a personal tour of the town and see if it could be the right fit for you.