Kelowna city council has approved two condo towers that, once built, will be the city’s tallest buildings.
“It’s always a little nerve-wracking because you don’t want to assume anything,” Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing President and CEO Scott Brown said. “Having been involved in this business for about 30 years, I was actually quite surprised at that much support.”
The “One Water Street” development project includes twin towers, one 29 storeys, the other 39.
“I think what it does is spreads Kelowna’s wings a little bit,” Brown said. “And says to people you know what, this is not a second-tier city. This is a top-tier medium-sized city.”
The towers will be built at the corner of Ellis and Water Streets across Prospera Place.
The property has been dubbed as the “dirt pile” for many years after a failed hotel project on the site.
“I think people are tired of looking at a dirt pile in their downtown,” Brown said. I honestly think that is what it is, they are like anything is better than we have.”
Council approved the project Tuesday evening in a 7-1 vote with Charlie Hodge being the lone Councillor to vote against it.
Currently the tallest building in Kelowna is the 26-storey Waterscapes condo building.
One of the main features of the twin tower project will be a three-storey podium on which the buildings sit on. The podium will include commercial ventures including restaurants, a grocery store and pharmacy.
“When you walk around the building you really interact with three storeys like you do on Bernard,” Brown said. “And the towers are set back so I think there was a lot less concern about height than we expected.”
Construction will begin later this year or early next year with the 36 storey tower ready for occupancy in the summer of 2020. The 29 storey tower is scheduled to be completed about a year later.
The units will officially go on sale Sept. 29 and while that’s still a month away, there are already thousands of people expressing interest in making a purchase.
“Demand has been very strong,” Brown said. “Nothing has been sold yet but the leading indicators are strong that we will have a successful sales start.”
Prices will be wide ranging starting at around $300,000 and going all the way up to $1.7 million.