Squamish is going through a major growth spurt with a record breaking 44 building permits issued in this past August. Their is no doubt that our small town is entering a new phase and the landscape around us is slated to change at a phenomenal rate. This changing landscape comes with both challenges and opportunities for local residents.
The appeal of Squamish has taken off especially in the last year, with more people wanting to move here for the lifestyle and outdoor recreation opportunities. This increased demand from Vancouver residents to relocate to Squamish has put major stress on the housing market for both rentals and home ownership. With housing prices increasing, developers are seeing the increased demand and opportunity to build in Squamish.
There are several major projects on the horizon in Squamish that will help meet the increased demand for housing in the area. We wanted to cover 3 of the major developments that were announced in the last year and will have an impact on the changing landscape of Squamish bc
The Great Wolf Lodge
The Great Wolf’s Lodge owns and operates the largest chain of indoor water parks in the world. The project is projected to provide at least 400-plus full-time jobs to area residents. The appeal of the Great Wolf Lodge is also guaranteed to bring in tourist dollars that help to fuel the local economy and make it a premier vacation getaway. Unfortunately for locals, only hotel guests of the Squamish Great Wolf Lodge will be allowed to utilize the indoor splash park. I think they should consider a locals night, especially with all the families in town!
Newport Beach Waterfront Development
The long awaited waterfront development, recently took a big step forward with the official sale of 103-acres of waterfront property from the District of Squamish to the Newport Beach Development. The Newport Beach Development plans to build 11,000 homes on the property by 2036. This development will enhance the fact that Squamish is an oceanside mountain community, with this project. The 20-year Newport Beach project is estimated to bring approximately 2300 jobs to Squamish. Around the Newport Beach project projected site, plans are in the works to build an art center, park, and educational institution. Area for restaurants, shopping outlets, and other commercial businesses has also be set aside by the Newport Beach project to further spur the area’s economy with much needed local jobs and broaden its appeal to possible future residents.
On top of creating new jobs and upscale, affordable housing, Newport Beach will also be flat out fun for locals and visitors. There is a waterfront public walkway planned with pedestrian and greenway connections that are going to feature numerous public art contributions. A wind sports beach a, sailing center, and two boat launch areas are also planned.
Garibaldi At Squamish
Garibaldi at Squamish is a proposal to construct and operate an all-seasons destination ski resort at Brohm Ridge near Squamish, BC. The Garibaldi at Squamish Project would have 23 ski lifts on 124 developed ski trails. In addition both private and commercial accommodations are planned. In January 2016 it was announced that the provincial government has issued an environmental assessment certificate for a proposed ski resort. Since that announcement we have not heard much about this project.
The development boom will help fuel the local economy with an increase in trades and construction jobs, as well as having an increased population to fill restaurants and spend more in town.
However, it also brings with it a changing landscape that impacts the people who are living here. Increased rentals and home prices have forced many long-time locals to leave in search of a more affordable place to live. With so much going on in Squamish, the area is growing and expanding at a rapid rate. Some locals might mourn the demise of the once sleepy community, while some of the area’s residents are excited about the changes and growth taking place.
There is little doubt that the future is bright for the Squamish area as its appeal becomes more wide reaching. People are sitting up and taking notice of the area’s hidden jewels. Many are planning to call the place home and some will continue to vacation amidst Squamish’s pristine beauty.