The Watkins School lot is in the centre right of the photo. Google Earth image

Old Watkins School lot to be developed

Mixed residential development with some commercial is planned

For years, Kimberley residents have waited for something to happen to the old Watkins School property just behind the downtown.

There is finally good news. The 1.8 acre property has been bought and the owners intend to develop it into a mixed residential area, with some commercial buildings as well.

Archer Properties Group has purchased the property and Kimberley resident Jaret Thompson, one of the partners, says the hope is to have shovels in the ground by this summer.

And it won’t be rows of cookie cutter town houses, he says. The plan is to offer variations in design, from two storey with main floor masters to three storey units, to units with commercial on the bottom and living quarters upstairs. Every unit will have a garage, some doubles, for parking and storage. The units with main floor masters will also have finished basements.

“The commercial doesn’t necessarily have to be retail,” Thompson said. “They could be professional offices.”

He says you couldn’t ask for a better location, with the property being so close to downtown. Everything is walkable.

Eventually, there will be 42 units but it will be built in three phases. The plan is to get some services in, then hopefully start to build in July.

There will be an open house on April 2 at Centre 64, 5 to 8 p.m. so anyone interested can take a look at the architects drawings of the exteriors and floor plans.

One of the issues about building in the area currently, Thompson says, is that construction costs are 25 to 30 per cent higher than anywhere else, but they are not going to let that stop them.

“We’re excited about it and we’re going ahead. I like the idea of cleaning up that lot.”

development

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