– Words by Laura Goldstein Photographs by Lia Crowe
You might get a fleeting glimpse of her kicking up dust on Okanagan back roads on her Ninja ZX6R motorcycle or Harley Davidson Sportster 48.
Or, check out his sprint-focused swim practices at Kelowna’s H2O Adventure+ Fitness Center, where his high performance is a powerhouse of unwavering strength and determination.
“It’s always been about how far I can push myself,” admits Taylor Musseau, who has brought the same focused intensity that infuses her dedication to the sport into her work ethic and career as CEO and partner. at MLA Okanagan.
Raised in Kelowna, Taylor rose through the real estate ranks 12 years ago as a determined 19-year-old, immersing herself in all aspects of real estate, realtor, sales agent and from marketing strategist to specialization in management and pre-construction projects to market their fruits.
After cutting her teeth on projects in Toronto and the GTA for a year, she was hired by MLA Canada to oversee the sales and marketing execution of Caban by Cressey, a condo and home development in six-story row in the cool Pandosy Village, beachfront Gyro Community on Lake Okanagan in Kelowna. Members of the Legislative Assembly of Canada were so impressed with the go-getter that they asked Taylor to lead their new Okanagan office a year ago.
“It was in Caban that I started working with the MLA brand,” says Taylor. “I love working with our clients in pre-construction and development, from the early stages of buying land, determining their target markets and design nuances, floor plans and even the impact of surrounding retail businesses on the condo residents. All of these important details, including the myriad of necessary permits, usually take place within 10 months. It’s holistic planning and there’s a lot of psychology involved” , she explains.
Not only does Taylor have the smarts and drive to succeed, but being part of millennials puts her in one of the fastest growing demographics in Canada, 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 re-examine their goals in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people now working from home see the opportunity to leave big cities like Vancouver and Toronto and enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle in a smaller centre. Taylor is aware of the housing needs of this demographic and works with developers to be mindful of sustainability, proximity to grocery stores, retail, and great amenities at Kelowna General Hospital, the new Science Center health at Okanagan College and, of course, Kelowna International Airport.
But this way of life has a price. Coinciding with the increase in the number of people migrating to the Okanagan, there is a drastic price spike.
“There is normally a two to three percent increase in residential prices every year,” she says. “But house prices have jumped 30% in the past two years.”
Known as the wine capital of Canada, the Okanagan is the country’s most prolific wine region, attracting wine lovers from around the world.
“There’s been this huge shift in the Okanagan in the tourism and hospitality industries and, of course, the burgeoning tech and film industry here that is bringing young people into the job market.”
Taylor is particularly excited about the city council’s green plan for the construction of a 46-story tower in downtown Kelowna. It will be the tallest building outside of Metro Vancouver, as it will house the state-of-the-art satellite campus of the University of British Columbia Okanagan.
“Until recently, we rarely had more affordable 312 square foot rental studios for Okanagan students,” says Taylor. “Developers are now making this an integral part of their planning, along with the gyms, facilities and storage for bikes and e-bikes. And the developers are also incorporating commercial spaces on the ground floor that will attract future occupants with parking on the third and fourth floors, rather than underground due to the water table and the considerable expense of digging.
She also says MLA Canada is currently working with Calgary’s Arlington Group on VIVO, which is located just a five-minute walk from the proposed new campus in the downtown craft brewery district. Aimed at urban professionals and investors, VIVO’s completion date is 2025. Marketed as an “urban center to live, work, play, shop”, it is a huge economic driver for the city. “And it’s close to hiking, running and biking trails at Knox Mountain Park and water sports on Okanagan Lake,” enthuses Taylor, also noting that Nolita, another project in the same location, is coming to the market this year.
A former competitive bodybuilding champion, who is part of the Okanagan Masters Swim Club in Kelowna and competes in the short-distance sprint swim events, Taylor lives the lifestyle she adopts in her professional life.
“I’m in the pool at 5:30 every day before I start work and I’m super passionate about both!”
Story courtesy of Boulevard magazinea publication of Black Press Media