The Cottages on Osoyoos Lake f it the bill.
The project is on the northeast end of Osoyoos Lake, billed as the warmest lake in Canada in the only true desert area of the country.
Developer Eric Van Maren of the Chilliwack-based Van Maren Group is developing the cottages in partnership with the Stelkia family, which has operated a ranch on the site for four generations.
The Cottages project will have 280 sites at completion, in three areas: meadow, lakefront and hillside.
Prices range from $295,000 to $968,900 and there is no Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) or property transfer tax because the land is leased (for 99 years) from the federal government.
The cottages range from 935 to 2,249 square feet and phase one occupancy is estimated for spring 2012.
There is an emphasis on outdoor living and each cottage has screened porches.
The meadow sites will start at $295,000 for the smallest cottages, while the hillside cottages are $350,000 to $450,000 at 1,700 to 2,000 square feet with basements and garages.
The lakefront homes start at 1,600 square feet and are priced at $720,000 and up.
Van Maren says he wanted to build something that was familyoriented and was impressed by the cottage development at the Veranda Beach project in Oroville, Wash., just across the border from Osoyoos.
“The advantage for our project is, we are in Canada and we have the ambience of Osoyoos and all its wineries — and we don’t have
MVisit our website under the heading, ‘Rec Properties,’ for more stories and photo galleries. any border or taxation issues.”
The developer expects 20 per cent of his buyers will come from Alberta, with the majority from the lower mainland of B.C. and the rest from the Okanagan.
“These will be people in their 50s or 60s who are looking for somewhere they can connect with their kids and grandkids in a cottage experience.”
Besides the 1,500 feet of lakefront and 500 feet of full sandy beach of Lake Osoyoos, other amenities for the project will include a 7,000-square-foot clubhouse with full f itness centre.
It will also have two pools, two hot tubs and a full outdoor kitchen as part of a grand pool deck.
Other attractions include boat slips and dock, along with two playgrounds and a multitude of open green spaces.
The nostalgia for the cottage experience of the boomer generation is reflected in the “sales site” the project is taking to potential markets.
Pulled by a 1973 Suburban, the Airstream trailer harkens back to a childhood where “the airstream would drive by the fruit stand and you thought: ‘Wow, those people have money’,” says Van Maren, who was born in the Okanagan.
“It brings a smile to your face … it is nostalgia. We see it when we drive down the highway.”
Van Maren says having a mobile sales centre allows it to be parked in different places, as well as providing a good way of “starting a conversation.”
As for the Bousquets, the plan is to see their son graduate university and get on his feet while the couple uses the Osoyoos cottage as a second home.
After that, “in a heartbeat we’ll be out there” full time, says Toni.
The Bousquets’ hillside cottage will have a view of the mountains, the lake and “the big sky.”
The project is “on a lake, there are mountains, wineries and a smalltown atmosphere. We wanted to stay in Canada so everything fell into our laps,” says Toni.
For a couple that loves to hike, Jet Ski, and ski
Developer Eric Van Maren at the Airstream trailer used as a sales centre.