The modular housing industry is on the rise in Penticton, with new businesses coming to town to set up plants.
“We’ve had a well-established history of this industry in Penticton and the new companies are certainly taking advantage of the economic climate right now,” said Anthony Haddad, director of development services for Penticton.
Haddad notes there are already well-established modular housing firms in town already, like the long-established Moduline and Metric Modular, which took over the old Britco location.
The latest addition to Penticton is Jandel Homes, an Alberta-based modular home company that expanded here in June.
“My projections are that within five years of being in the Okanagan Valley, we should be at the same volumes as Alberta. I see very large potential here,” said Mark Huchulak, president and CEO of Jandel Homes.
Jandel joins other companies, like the Radec group that have also chosen to take advantage of what Penticton has to offer.
Penticton also offers easy access to transportation routes serving the Okanagan and beyond.
“I think that is one of the big benefits of locating in Penticton for these types of businesses and others, the superior access to a number of different transportation networks,” said Haddad.
Increased demand is fuelling big business, which is resulting in strong employment growth and spurring the local economy.
Metric Modular is also facing substantial growth and is hiring at its Penticton plant.
“Penticton has been the natural hub for the modular home industry for years, supporting the Okanagan Valley,” said Stephen Branch, president of Metric Modular. “We now have teamed up with our sister company Triple M Housing to provide both commercial products and single-family homes from this hub.”
Innovative designs and wider applications are also fuelling the growth of modular housing, according to Haddad.
“We’re seeing the modular housing industry innovating in the types of housing. It’s not just single-family houses that can be built with this type of construction,” he said. “We’re seeing a variety of different options through carriage houses, multi-family developments, even on the commercial side; hotels for example.”
The Coast Oliver Hotel, Haddad added, was built with modular construction and recently opened.
“The array of housing types and development types that the modular home sector can provide for, provides an efficient construction process, resulting in lower costs and providing a more affordable housing type within the Okanagan,” said Haddad.
Designs have continually improved to meet demand, according to Walter Fontinha, sales manager of Moduline.
“The modular business is growing because the look of the homes have changed in the last 15 years. They look a lot more residential. Modular homes are being more accepted within city limits among site-built homes,” said Fontinha.
An example of that, said Haddad, is the Bridgewater development in Penticton, which is close to being built out.
“There has been a lot of interest in the new developments in using modular construction,” said Haddad. “With the growing construction industry in the whole Okanagan, the ability for this type of construction method to provide for a wide range of housing is a huge opportunity that we are seeing some new companies invest in Penticton for.”
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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