Building Communities: North Shore Community Plan with Jeremy Heighton
Over the last couple of years, ARPA Investments Ltd. (ARPA) has collaborated with remarkable community leaders, working on projects that not only meet public needs but also revitalize local areas. The North Shore Business Improvement Association (NSBIA) works in collaboration with ARPA, as both are devoted to building a stronger presence on the North Shore. Through the North Shore Community Plan, guided by the NSBIA and bolstered by ARPA’s development work, they have played a pivotal role in bringing new life into the neighbourhood and fostering a stronger sense of unity.
In 2018, the NSBIA embarked on an extensive engagement process with the community, asking for residents’ input on projects that would help the North Shore move forward. From there on, The North Shore Community Plan was created and later approved by the Kamloops City Council in September 2022.
“All projects developed by the NSBIA ended up on the project list for the North Shore Community Plan. We knew we had listened to the community, heard what they wanted and all that got translated into This new Community Plan,” said Jeremy Heighton, executive director of the NSBIA.
This visionary document now serves as the compass for development, visioning, and the future of North Shore.
“The North Shore Community Plan encapsulates the aspirations of the community, laying the groundwork which we then take and execute on behalf of our entire community, integrating all aspects that make it vibrant, including infrastructure upgrades, arts and culture, and commercial development,” expressed Heighton. “It’s about leaning into a community builder perspective and envisioning what the North Shore will look like 20 years from now.”
Following this vision, the NSBIA, with the involvement of ARPA, has taken proactive steps in building a neighbourhood that celebrates the synergy between residents
and commercial spaces.
“Historically, residential and commercial neighbourhoods have been treated independently. However, a new trend is emerging, one that favours a balance between commercial and residential needs,” said Heighton. “The North Shore now sees mixed-use buildings that bring services closer to the people who need them while supporting the local community.”
These hybrid developments are critical for various reasons. Not only do they reduce environmental footprints, but they also strengthen both residential and commercial communities, further contributing to arts, culture, sports, and other community endeavours.
“These developments help reduce the need to travel far for services, bringing the neighbourhood closer to self-sufficiency. It’s about connecting the pieces and building a community that works together cohesively,” added Heighton.
Through ARPA projects such as The Colours on Spirit Square, the Yew Street Food Hall, The Station on Tranquille, Thompson Landing on Royal, and the upcoming Innova Business Centre, the NSBIA has been able to bring life back into the North Shore neighbourhood and foster a stronger sense of community.
Heighton commends ARPA's innovative approach and collaborative efforts to build a community interface that honours the residents' needs while pursuing their projects.
“Their openness to discussion and innovation has helped drive this transformation. They listen to the people and are constantly looking for more ways to say "yes" to community improvement. By reimagining underutilized spaces and investing in community vibrancy, what was once a dead space has been transformed into a thriving asset for the community.”
Without a doubt, the North Shore Community Plan, guided by the NSBIA and supported by partnerships with local organizations like ARPA, is a shining example of what can be achieved when organizations come together with a shared vision. With projects like these, the North Shore is indeed on the path to a more vibrant and connected community.