Delayed development

The Wharton Street project, a proposed multi-storey, multi-phase development near Summerland’s downtown, has the potential to spur growth.

The Wharton Street project, a proposed multi-storey, multi-phase development near Summerland’s downtown, has the potential to spur some much needed economic growth.

That’s why any delay in the process is cause for concern.

A year ago, on Aug. 16, 2012, the Memorandum of Understanding document was signed for the project.

At the time, developers expected to have the groundbreaking in February and the first building completed early in 2014.

All this was put on hold when the proponent of the project had serious health problems earlier this year.

A delay for this reason is understandable, but it is still frustrating for those who are waiting on this project.

The developers remain interested in proceeding with the project, although the timeline is changing.

For those who have lived in Summerland for the last decade, the delay brings back memories of an earlier development proposal for the same site.

Mike Rink, a Kamloops-based developer had expressed interest in the project, although an agreement was not signed. His plan expired in January, 2011.

For years, the idea of a development on the site has been discussed. In addition to providing housing just steps from the downtown core, the development would provide new and larger spaces to house the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library and the Summerland Museum.  Both facilities are operating out of cramped quarters.

The need for this development or something similar has not gone away. If anything, it is more pressing now than it was a few years ago, when the concept was first presented.

We do not wish to see the project rushed. It is important enough to demand a careful, thorough approach.

Still, the waiting is not easy for any of us.


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