By Vanessa Broadbent
Baldy Mountain Resort is expanding, starting with the construction of McKinney subdivision, a new housing project on the hill.
The project is the first of four phases that are the result of a new partnership between the resort and Hsin Chong Group Holdings, a construction company based in Hong Kong.
The group has purchased the hill, a move that Wade Wilk, Baldy’s construction manager, predicts will bring more visitors to the resort.
“They’re world-renowned,” he said. “We’re excited to have them on board with us.”
Currently, the subdivision is in its pre-sale stage. Of the 29 lots, six will be commercial and the other 23 are residential single-family lots.
The lots, which are priced starting at $62,500 and go up to $95,900, have only been on the market for a few weeks and Wilk said that there are “a lot of interested parties” and some have already sold.
With Hsin Chong Group Holdings on board, Wilk said that buyers can choose from specific design packages.
“They can put packages together at a decent price and give back to the community also and promote the community. That’s the vision of the investors.”
Buyers will be able to choose a package, which then will be built by one of three builders that Baldy will be working with. Outside builders can be contracted as well, as long as they follow the guidelines for the development.
“We have a look and feel that we’re going for,” Wilk said. “The designs look like it’s a craftsmanship design, like old-style chalets but with a modern twist to it.”
Once 80 per cent of the lots have sold, the soft utilities will be installed, but construction can’t begin until the province approves everything, a process that Wilk says takes time.
“It’s a slow process dealing with situations like that but we’re on the right path and everybody’s excited to move forward, including the regional district and the ministry. They’ve been great to work with.”
Wilk isn’t sure when construction will be complete, but he’s hoping it’ll be “in a year or two.”
The next three phases of expansions include more housing developments, hill improvements and on-site accommodation.
Currently, Baldy Mountain Resort is a go-to for winter sports, but the hill closes in the spring. The expansions are expected to turn the hill into a “four-season resort.”
“If it’s 40 degrees down in Oliver, you come up to Baldy and it’s 10-15 degrees cooler in the summer months,” Wilk said. “There’s mountain bike trails and hiking and all sorts of stuff, but it just takes time to develop it.”
While there are plans in the works to develop trails and promote summer recreational activities on the hill, Wilk also sees the partnership with Hsin Chong Group Holdings promoting Baldy on a global scale.
“We’re just a little dot on a map; nobody knows about Baldy,” he said. “Now, if you have world connections, which the investor group does have, they can reach out across quite a few nations and that opens up a whole new avenue for future development, more expansion, accommodations.”