The revitalization of Kelowna’s downtown core is behind the constant drum of construction as more and more highrise developments start to take shape.
The massive three-tower project proposed for Leon Avenue, Water Street by the Park, has submitted building permit applications for its first two towers.
“We are getting ready to get started with the demolition on the existing buildings,” said Anthony Beyrouti, Orchard Park Properties’ founder.
“Hopefully right after, get the shovels into the ground, dig a hole and get the buildings started.“
The Orchard Park Properties founder says the company hit record sales on its first tower.
“It’s actually the fastest selling community in the history of Kelowna,” said Beyrouti.
“We sold over 350 units, which is a lot, especially in the middle of the pandemic.“
One bit of feedback developers are getting is an appreciation for expanding housing inventory in the city.
“There are very few listings out there, very few opportunities to buy something,” said Beyrouti.
“I think one of the things people have been very excited about is that we have inventory. Tell us what you want, good chance we have it for you, and the price is reasonable.”
Vancouver-based Ledingham McAllister, the developers of Waterscapes on Sunset Drive, has proposed four new towers for the corner of Ellis Street and Industrial Avenue.
“It’s going to consist of four towers: 36, 34, 32, 28 storeys, on top of two parkades with 1,116 residential units,” said Dan Giordano, Ledingham McAllister’s vice-president of development.
The project depends on the city approving a rezoning application.
“We submitted our rezoning package to the city in November. Once we get comments back from them, once we get those, we will be able to move the project forward as quickly as possible,” said Giordano.
Over at the old Daily Courier building on Doyle Avenue, the Mission Group is going ahead with plans for two more towers.
They submitted detailed designs for a 30-storey residential tower and a 16-storey office tower.
City of Kelowna officials welcome the highrise projects.
Officials say the developments align with their vision of revitalizing the downtown area.
“I’ve been here for 20 years now, and when I got here it was something all the planners talked about,” said Ryan Smith, City of Kelowna’s divisional director of planning and development.
“Hopefully, we can make a big change downtown if we realize on these plans and we are really starting to see that now.”