It’s called “One Water Street,” an elaborate development on the corner of Ellis and Water Streets featuring what will be the two tallest towers in Kelowna, standing at 36 and 29 storeys high.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held to mark the official start of construction on tower one, the taller of the two, on Tuesday afternoon.
The towers were supposed to be built at least one year apart but due to strong demand, developers are fast-tracking the sales and construction of the second one.
Sales on the second tower were supposed to launch this fall but units will instead go on sale this spring.
“We had timelined it much longer so we expected a year in between launches or more so we are shortening that down,” Leonard Kerkhoff of Kerkhoff Construction said.
“We are hardly six months past starting sales on the first tower so it’s exciting to move forward on the next one.”
Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, who attended the ground-breaking ceremony, applauded the two development companies, Kerkhoff Construction and North American Development Group, for taking a risk with a project of this magnitude
“There’s a lot of risk involved and a lot of upfront costs that a lot of people don’t take into consideration so I want to thank the development team for taking the risk.” Basran said.
The mayor said he’s delighted to finally see action on a site that has been referred to as the “dirt pile” for more than a decade.
“I think a lot of people are really happy to see the dirt pile gone and something taking place on this site, long overdue for our community,” Basran said.
In addition to the two towers, the project also includes resort-style amenities and plenty of commercial space for shops and restaurants.
“We’ve got shops and services on the street, it’s got gathering points for the residents in the whole neighborhood, it’s bringing in new people into the downtown, just animates everything.” Kerkhoff said.
The first tower is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020 with the second one ready for occupancy about six months later.