Jul 1, 2004 | Marmot, Summer 2004

Anticipation of Bear Lodge opening spurs international purchase inquiries

Seven years after its twin opened on Mount Washington, construction has begun on Bear Lodge. And buyers are eagerly waiting in the wings for the 59-unit condo project to hit the market, says Rick Gibson of Royal LePage in Courtenay.

“We are generating a priority list for interested parties and hope to be in a position to presell late this summer.” Rick Gibson said he’s had expressions of interest from primarily Vancouver Island but also the Lower Mainland, the United Kingdom, South Africa and the United States. “People love the slope side access of Deer Lodge and Bear Lodge, and it’s right in the heart of the ‘downtown’ where Mount Washington will evolve.”

Bear Lodge will be similar in design to Deer Lodge, except Bear will be built with new rain-screen technology, according to Dennis Serraglio of Appia Developments, which is overseeing the project. “Same number of units, same layouts, different exterior – the color and cladding will be a little different,” he said from his office in Vancouver.

The foundation for Bear was poured at the same time as Deer Lodge, in 1996, but the market went soft in BC and Appia decided to suspend construction. Now, the market has rebounded considerably, and Bear Lodge’s time has come.

“We definitely want people to know that it’s coming to market.” Serraglio said. He admitted it’s a relief to be moving forward with the project. “It’s been sitting there for a long time, a little too long,” he said. “It’s good to see the Island real estate market heat up again.”

Construction is slated to wrap up by February 2005. The units will be fully furnished in time for an as-yet-unannounced opening day.

With the construction of Bear Lodge, Mount Washington offers 3,500 beds for accommodation. Gibson said interest in drive-in, drive-out buildings is at an all-time high, with many buildings totally sold out. “Rest assured that, assuming Bear Lodge sells out as quickly as it appears to be, there will be another building announced very, very quickly in the same area,” he said.

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