Osoyoos Indian Band Opens New Senkulmen Business Park in Oliver

by NationTalk on October 21, 20112856 Views

MEDIA RELEASE

Oct. 21, 2011

Osoyoos Indian Band Opens New Senkulmen Business Park in Oliver
Construction of Wine Distribution Centre Underway, Leasing of Commercial Lots Begins

OLIVER, BC – The Osoyoos Indian Band has begun construction of a wine distribution centre to serve the South Okanagan region as part of the first phase development of the Senkulmen Business Park, which was officially opened today by Chief Clarence Louie, Oliver Mayor Pat Hampson, Boundary-Similkameen MLA Honourable John Slater, the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification), and Senator Gerry St. Germain.

Located on Highway 97 near Oliver, at the north end of the Osoyoos Indian Band reserve, the 45-hectare (112 acre) property is currently in the first phase of its 10-year development plan. The business park will eventually accommodate up to 40 business tenants and create upwards of 1000 new manufacturing and supporting jobs in the region, based on an economic analysis prepared for the project.“The state-of-the-art business park will help diversify the local economy by attracting more commercial, light industrial and institutional businesses to Oliver. This will generate major economic spin-offs for the entire region for generations to come,” said Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie.

The Senkulmen project offers a competitively priced business destination in a prime location, with easy access to markets in B.C., Alberta, and the United States. The business park will also contain many innovative features such as a proposed geothermal heating plant, a green sanitary system, fiber optic communications, environmentally-friendly landscaping, and sustainable architectural design guidelines.

“Our government is pleased to have partnered with the Osoyoos Indian Band to help make this project a reality,” said the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. “Investments such as this help bring employment opportunities and economic benefits, not only for the First Nation community but for the entire region.”

With the site preparation and servicing work now complete, the OIB is ready to take Senkulmen Business Park to market.

“Our official opening today marks the kick-off of an aggressive sales effort. We are working with international commercial real estate firms Cushman Wakefield and Royal LePage to ensure Senkulmen becomes the leading business destination in the Okanagan,” said Chief Louie.

The business park already has its first tenant, a wine distribution centre being built and operated by the Osoyoos Indian Band in a joint venture with Bronquest Properties Limited. Ready for occupancy in mid-2012, it will feature 10,000-square-feet of climate-controlled multi-winery warehousing space in the heart of the Okanagan’s wine industry.

The Osoyoos Indian Band has invested more than $4.5 million so far in the development of Senkulmen Business Park, including $1.5 million for the construction of a new interchange on Highway 97 to provide convenient access to the site.

The project also received $5.4 million in partnership funding from the Government of Canada’s Western Economic Diversification Canada Community Adjustment Fund, part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s Community Opportunities Program.

“I would like to thank the Government of Canada for their vision and foresight in supporting this project which will have a real and positive impact on not only First Nations economic development, but the economic prosperity of the entire South Okanagan region,” said Chief Louie.

In addition to the Senkulmen Business Park development, the Osoyoos Indian Band has two other major capital projects underway, including Phase 1 of Canyon Desert Resort, a 350-unit residential and vacation resort development in Oliver, and Phase 3, a 44 residential unit development at Spirit Ridge located at the Band’s 4.5 star Nk’Mip Resort in Osoyoos, B.C.

For more information on Senkulmen Business Park, visit www.senkulmen.ca. For more information about the Osoyoos Indian Band Development Corporation, visit www.oibdc.ca.

About the Osoyoos Indian Band
The entrepreneurial Osoyoos Indian Band is one of the most progressive First Nations in Canada. The 475-member Band runs nine businesses, including the largest tourism resort in the South Okanagan region of British Columbia, a desert cultural centre, and NK’MIP Cellars – the first Aboriginal-owned winery in North America. Osoyoos Indian Band businesses have won numerous environmental, architectural, and business awards for their innovation.

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Media Contact:
Bill Eisenhauer, Good Relations Inc.
(250) 383-5605 or (250) 744-4748 (mobile)
bill[at]goodrelations.ca

Brian Titus, COO, Osoyoos Indian Band Development Corporation
(250) 498-3444 or (250) 485-7365 (mobile)
btitus[at]oib.ca

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