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University village seen as transformative

TRU Community Trust launches first phase for 2017
September 19, 2016 12:20 P.M.
MLA Todd Stone speaks Monday at TRU launch of its university village transformation.

The Reach — a mixed residential/retail project marking first step in the development of a university village at TRU — is finally within reach.

University officials and the business community applauded the launch of the project at a ceremony Monday on campus. They described the project as a historic development, five years in the making.

“Many people have helped us develop the university village concept,” said TRU President Alan Shaver. “To this point, it’s been a cast of about 1,000. It was a much bigger job than anyone anticipated.”

The Reach, as it’s called, is the first planned community on a university campus in the Interior and follows in the tradition of planned campus communities elsewhere in Canada.

TRU Community Trust (TRUCT), the group overseeing the development, has issued a request for proposals from developers interested in taking the development to market. There is no sale of university land involved, Shave stressed. Revenues from the project will be plowed back into university research as well as student scholarships and bursaries, he said.

A development worth in the neighbourhood of $1 billion, the project is located north of the new TRU Law School in Old Main Building. Construction of the 36-hectare development is expected to get underway in 2017. The project will include:

  • 3 million sq. ft. of urban residential space.
  • 40,000 sq. ft. of new office space.
  • 78,000 sq. ft. of new retail space.
  • A future hotel, urban market and pharmacy.
  • Integrated outdoor public spaces with pedestrian and cycling links.

Local MLAs, who played a pivotal role in advancing the project, working with the community trust and the provincial government, were on hand to mark the occasion.

“This is going to set TRU apart from so many other options students have,” said MLA Todd Stone. “This will just add to what’s already happening in other parts of the city.”

Meeting with the community trust delegation was one of his first duties as an MLA almost five years ago, Stone said.

“It’s been an arduous journey since then.”

Frank Quinn, TRUCT chairman, was also credited with bringing the project to this stage.

"It's exciting to be introducing The Reach, a generational real estate project, to developers across the country," Quinn said. "We have an opportunity to transform the campus at TRU into a vibrant community with a profound and meaningful sense of place."

Quinn said the biggest challenge was convincing the provincial government of the merits of the project, considering its importance to the university's evolution.

Established in 2011, TRUCT manages development of TRU property that are intended to convert university land assets into a source of dedicated funding in support of students and academic activities. In this sense, The Reach resembles mixed-used developments such as UBC's Westbrook Village and SFU's UniverCity.

Quinn said every building included in The Reach will have to incorporate the same amount of parking displaced by the project. As it is, TRU has more parking per capita than any other B.C. campus, he added.

Artist's rendering of The Reach, a mixed use development at TRU.

 

John Goldsmith says:
September 20, 2016 06:47pm

Kind of makes KGHM/Ajax persona non grata doesn't it. TRU's capital projects will take up any slack in the skilled labour force for many years to come leaving nothing for KGHM/Ajax, notwithstanding, Ajax is nothing but a bad dream.
You have now heard it here first, the boys in Poland will mothball Ajax within 12 months and if they could sell it, even at a loss, they would.

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Ajaxtoobigtooclose says:
September 20, 2016 11:38am

Economic growth, jobs, sustainable, knowledge based, increases the vitality of the city. This is the kind of development that Kamloops will really benefit from, and it will create employment and bring more students, teachers and other professionals to Kamloops.

That ridiculous mine proposal would be an insane blight on the expansion of TRU into the community. The liberal candidates should stop trying to pretend that we can have a healthy vital growing city and have a huge open mine and towering tailings storage threatening everyone in the city.

This university development project is great. The whole idea of it is entirely inconsistent with the mine proposal. Can we please get rid of the threat of that mine. It's a drain on everyone who is excited about the positive knowledge based potential for this city

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James Graff says:
September 19, 2016 12:46pm

"FAN-tastic." -Best news yet: this is Kamloops on track! Being part of the global education community worldwide and advancing local interests in and for the entire town.
Cheers to whomever thought this most excellent -very academic- idea up. !

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