By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: March 26, 2014
A Vancouver-based development company with old ties to Squamish is planning a public market, an indoor mountain bike park and a climbing facility in town.
This summer, Solterra Development Corporation will start work on a public market in the former PacWest building, across from the Howe Sound Inn, on Cleveland Ave.
“The idea is to let entrepreneurs set up shop to experiment with business ideas and concepts.” Mike Bosa, Solterra’s vice-chairman
Solterra will also build an indoor mountain bike park and a climbing facility on a portion of the 20-acre business park the company bought from the district in 2012.
Mike Bosa, the company’s vice-president, gave a presentation to the council at a committee of the whole meeting on March 25.
Inspired by public markets such as Granville Island, the seven day a week market in downtown Squamish will enable entrepreneurs to lease space from the company and test their ideas.
From jewellery to clothes to exotic food and spices to artist’s clinic, any idea worth pitching will be considered.
“It’s really based on an incubator model,” said Bosa.
“The idea is that entrepreneurs can set up shop to experiment with business ideas and concepts.”
Out of 32 spots, seven would be for bigger permanent businesses, while there will be five temporary and 21 semi-permanent spots for other busiensses.
Solterra is known locally for Eagelwind, a collection of townhomes, duplexes and condos in downtown Squamish.
The company is now completing 16 townhouses near the Squamish Seniors Centre and is set to begin construction on Nature’a Gate, a 50-unit townhome development near Eaglewind.
Bosa said the public market would be a great amenity for those who bought homes from the company in downtown Squamish, and for the entire downtown community.
“The idea is to bring more people downtown Squamish and make it a destination,” he said.
Bosa said the facility downtown won’t be a farmers market, but a public market which would be open seven days a week.
At the business park, Solterra is working on a climbing gym, with over 8,000 square feet of climbing terrain. Also on the cards is an indoor bike training centre called District 99, built and run by Scott Jewett, a national event manager for Red Bull.
District 99 would have training facilities such as dirt tracks, wooden and rock obstacles, a foam pit and trampolines.
“We are trying to design a rec-tech centre for excellence, and they will be out anchor tenant,” Bosa said.
An indoor facility for both sports would give children and professional athletes train during off-season, Bosa added.
One of these anchor businesses would be located on the north-east corner and the other on the south west section.
The land is currently zoned industrial and variances would be required to make the idea sustainable.