– Words by Laura Goldstein Photography by Lia Crowe
You might catch a glimpse raising dust over the back roads of the Okanagan on her Ninja ZX6R motorcycle or Harley Davidson Sportster 48.
Or check out her sprint-focused swim routines at Kelowna’s H2O Adventure + Fitness Center, where her peak performance is a high-energy vortex of strength and steely determination.
“It’s always been about how far I can push myself,” admits Taylor Musseau, who has brought the same focused intensity that pervades her dedication to the sport to her work ethic and career as an executive director and partner at MLA Okanagan.
Raised in Kelowna 12 years ago, Taylor sprinted up the real estate ranks as a determined 19-year-old, immersing himself in all aspects of real estate, from realtors, sales representatives and marketing strategists to specializing in managing and executing pre-construction projects to… market maturity.
After a year of proving her worth on projects in Toronto and the GTA, she was hired by MLA Canada to oversee the execution of the sales and marketing of Caban by Cressey – a six story condominium and townhouse development in cool Pandosy Village, Gyro Beach community on Okanagan Lake in Kelowna. MLA Canada was so impressed with the daredevil that they asked Taylor to head up their new Okanagan office a year ago.
“Caban was my first experience working with the MLA brand,” says Taylor. “I just love working with our clients in pre-construction and development, from the earliest stages of condominium purchase, to find out their target markets and the nuances of design, floor plans and even the impact of the surrounding retail on the condominium occupants. All of these important details, including the myriad of permissions required, usually take place within a 10-month period. It’s holistic planning that involves a lot of psychology,” she explains.
Not only does Taylor have the intelligence and drive to succeed, but as part of the Millennial generation, she is among Canada’s fastest growing demographic according to Statistics Canada’s 2021 Census.
And that translates well to the Okanagan real estate market, which has exploded as many singles and young families reassess their goals in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people who are now working from home see an opportunity to move away from big cities like Vancouver and Toronto and take advantage of a more relaxed lifestyle in a smaller center. Taylor understands the housing needs of this demographic and works with developers to address sustainability, proximity to grocery stores, retail and the excellent facilities of Kelowna General Hospital, the new Okanagan College Health Sciences Center and of course Kelowna International Airport be.
But this lifestyle comes at a price. Coinciding with the surge in migration to the Okanagan has been a radical price increase.
“Typically, house prices go up by two to three percent every year,” she says. “But real estate prices have increased by 30 percent in recent years.”
Known as the wine capital of Canada, the Okanagan is the country’s most productive wine region and attracts wine lovers from around the world.
“There’s been this tremendous shift in the Okanagan in the tourism and hospitality industry and of course the booming tech and film industries here that are attracting younger people to the workforce.”
Taylor is particularly excited about the City Council-approved plan for the construction of a 46-story skyscraper in downtown Kelowna. It will be the tallest building outside of Metro Vancouver as it will house the University of British Columbia Okanagan’s state-of-the-art satellite campus.
“Until recently, we rarely had 3,500-square-foot studio rentals in the Okanagan that were more affordable for students,” says Taylor. “Developers are now making it an integral part of their plans, along with gyms, bike and e-bike facilities, and storage. And developers are also adding retail space on the ground floor, which will attract future residents with parking on the third and fourth floors, rather than because of the water table and the sheer cost of digging underground.”
She also says MLA Canada is currently working with Calgary-based Arlington Group on VIVO, which is just a five-minute walk from the proposed new campus in downtown’s Craft Brewery District. Targeting urban professionals and investors, VIVO is expected to be completed by 2025. Marketed as a “city center for living, working, playing and shopping”, it is a tremendous economic engine for the city. “And it’s in close proximity to hiking, running, and biking trails at Knox Mountain Park and water sports at Okanagan Lake,” enthuses Taylor, also noting that Nolita, another project in the same location, is coming out this year.
A former competitive bodybuilding champion who is part of the Okanagan Masters Swim Club in Kelowna and competes in short distance sprint swimming, Taylor lives the lifestyle she champions in her professional life.
“I’m in the pool at 5:30 every day before I start work and I’m very passionate about both!”
Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a publication of Black Press Media
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