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Feature - Corridor dynamics

There’s much more than the Olympics and development projects on the horizon, there’s going to be a population shift

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Strangway said the university would have a strong focus on undergraduate studies and globalization.

"Many of students will be new to Canada and the idea is that the young people will be studying together and getting exposure to the much bigger world," Strangway said.

The other side effect to importing a lot of young people into a town is the entertainment.

Young people need outlets such as movie theatres and arcades and the developers driving the construction of the Canadian Tire mall have promised to provide many of those facilities.

Sutherland said, at this stage, the plans include five movie theatres, a paint store, a ski shop and other retail outlets.

"What’s happening is that Squamish, in pretty quick time, is going to become a self contained community," said Sutherland.

The development of the Squamish waterfront will also add a plethora of entertainment values to the downtown area. The District of Squamish acquired 71 acres of waterfront land, formerly occupied by Nexen, for $1 last December. Since then the community has been holding workshops to define a redevelopment concept.

Sutherland defined the Squamish waterfront as one of the last remaining jewels of real estate in B.C.

"The waterfront area is surrounded by water on three sides and has a vista of the mountains on four sides.

"Already we have huge interest from lots and lots of major players who can see the potential for that site and, yes, we have to overcome some obstacles, but the upside of it is so amazing.

"When you think about a waterfront walkway and a ferry terminal, a hotel a conference centre, maybe an arts centre, some high technology employment and some condos and town homes….

"That waterfront is literally one of the last remaining jewels of real estate in the province of British Columbia and it’s going to become the focal point for the regeneration of downtown Squamish.

"It’s going to be looked at by people many years into the future as just a fantastic project and it’s going to attract the really high end serious planners, investors, developers – the whole range of people are going to want to be involved with this project – because of the potential."

Sutherland said many of the best developers and builders will be attracted by the prestige of the Olympics.

"It’s a world class project, especially when you consider that in six years the whole world will be able to look at it.

"If you’re a top-end developer, a top-end investor or top-end architect you want to be able to show the world."