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‘We’re going to be bringing jobs downtown’: Face of downtown Kelowna changing

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“We are going to be bringing jobs downtown with the office building, more people living downtown and it's just going to make the downtown part of our city more vibrant and alive.” – Feb 4, 2021

The cityscape of Kelowna is constantly changing these days, and the addition of two development projects in downtown Kelowna will only add to the city’s vision for the revitalization of downtown.

On Bernard Avenue and Bertram Street, the Mission Group just secured its building permits for the final two towers for the Bernard Block project.

“We’re demolishing the existing building and we will be building a 34-storey tower and then a 16-storey office tower around the corner,” said Randall Shier, Mission Group’s president.

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The two new towers will join the soon to be completed ‘Brooklyn’ residential tower on St. Paul Street.

The new 34-storey building will mainly be residential units, while the 16-storey office building will feature 100,000 feet of new office space.

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“We’re excited to be making an impact and a difference in our community,” Shier told Global News on Thursday.

“We are going to be bringing jobs downtown with the office building, more people living downtown and it’s just going to make the downtown part of our city more vibrant and alive.”

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The Mission Group’s president said he expects construction on the foundation for the new towers to begin next month but did say the two towers are still a few years away from being completed.

Over on the corner of Water Street and Lawrence Avenue at the historic Daily Courier building, which was more recently home to the Keg restaurant, demolition is also ongoing.

The city says West Kelowna’s Mission Hill Winery is planning on opening a new establishment at the site.

”Mission Hill Winery, being a facility on the west-side, has decided to come downtown to convert that old building into a wine bar and restaurant,” said Terry Barton, City of Kelowna’s development planning manager.

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Construction is tricky as the historic brick front is deemed a heritage site — something that will be preserved, according to the city.

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“The project does entail fixing up some of the old windows and the façade,” said Barton.

“It will also include an expansion on the second floor.”

The city says construction for that project is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

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