May 10, 2024

Penticton Herald: New Development Group Bullish on Penticton Industrial Sector

Nearly 60 years after it went up, the sun is finally shining again on a long-dormant Penticton warehouse where the new owners are trying to shake up the city’s industrial development scene.

Okanagan-based SNFLWR Investment Corporation, which formed earlier this year, is already hard at work transforming its first acquisition: a 26,000-square-foot warehouse on the busy corner of Government Street and Dawson Avenue in the heart of Penticton’s industrial area.

“As cliché as it sounds, it has good bones,” said Jeremy Dawn, the CEO of SNFLWR, in an interview Thursday at the site.

The bones at 2324 Government St. include 22-foot ceiling clearance and 16-foot bay doors in the main building, plus ample space outside for new construction.

SNLWR purchased the site – which was on the market for years after its last tenant, a cardboard company, closed its doors – earlier this month for $4.35 million and plans to invest another $4.5 million in the redevelopment, according to Dawn.

The building’s first tenant is Granite Rocks, a Lethbridge-based countertop manufacturer that’s expanding into the Okanagan.

Granite Rocks will occupy 13,000 square feet, and Dawn hopes to find another anchor tenant to take the other half of the warehouse, which is getting a new façade, storefront-type improvements and other upgrades.

Plans are also afoot to add another 16,000 square feet of space in three new buildings on the site as needed to build a collection of complementary businesses.

“Their success is our success,” said Dawn. “The last thing I want is a tenant coming in and they go dark.”

Dawn, a former vice-president of acquisitions for Kelowna-based Mission Group, said he’s bullish on industrial space, despite what seems to be a surplus of it in Penticton, where a 10-acre industrial parcel near the hospital was rezoned earlier this year for housing.

“We haven’t even started marketing and this week alone I think we had a dozen people call… so there is demand and I think it’s in that sub-15,000-square-feet type of (product),” he explained.

“And a lot of people who have space now, they’re in really old buildings with low ceiling height, or they’re in the back of the retail store, where it’s not ideal to be trying to grow a business.”

Dawn said his team consists of other development professionals and investors with whom he’s connected over his own career in the business.

“I’ve been in development and real estate consulting my whole life, just kind of trying to change the narrative of developers and the development community, and trying to demystify and simplify it,” he said.

“We’re kind of tired of dealing with egos of our industry…. We want to do good things and have fun while we do it and it’s been a very warm welcome.

“And it feels like we’re onto something with good timing to be starting something new in the market, where we don’t have the past baggage from the past couple of years where you may have gotten burned by rising costs.”

SNFLWR, which has a handful of other properties around the region and also plans to go big on rental housing, is also interested in development opportunities.

For more information about SNFLWR projects, visit www.snflwrcorporation.com or call Dawn directly at 250-215-5515.

View the original article in the Penticton Herald.