Notable Penticton, B.C. home to be replaced by office building

Click to play video: 'Notable Penticton home to be replaced by office building'
Notable Penticton home to be replaced by office building
Notable Penticton home to be replaced by office building – Dec 7, 2022

A well-known Penticton, B.C. home and restaurant, Bogners, is set to be demolished and turned into a three-storey office building.

The building, located on Eckhardt Avenue West, is already zoned for multi-storey commercial use, but the owner needed approval for a small variance in order to move forward with the development.

Council voted 5-2 in favour of the variance during Tuesday’s council meeting.

“Change is always difficult when you know it involves a building such as Bogners,” said the mayor of Penticton, Julius Bloomfield.

“A lot of people have made happy memories there, but time moves on. I know that the building was in very poor state of repair and would have taken a lot of money to bring it up to what it needs to continue successful operation there.”

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The decision was made despite some hesitation due to its iconic status in the community and that it is situated in a residential neighbourhood.

“I’m going to vote for the staff recommendation but with reluctance, and the reason is that the zoning, it does allow for this,” said Penticton Councillor Amelia Boultbee, during Tuesday’s meeting.

“One of the alternatives provided, which would be to have the city take over as a designated heritage site, could entail significant cost to the taxpayers.”

Councillors Ryan Graham and James Miller voted against the motion.

“What I am pondering is, this lot is immediately adjacent to a residential neighbourhood. Is this an appropriate site for a three-storey office building? Would downtown not make more logistical sense?” said Penticton Councillor Miller.

“Logistically wouldn’t that be a better site for housing instead of office space?”

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Local Historic Home in Kelowna caught fire – now, all the home owner can do is sit and wait to see if the home can be saved.

According to local historian Randy Manual, the home was built in 1915 by Dr. Herb McGrgor.

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“Dr. McGregor was the second doctor to move here in 1909. He and his family lived here till 1954, it was sold a number of times through private individuals,” said Manual

“By 1973, there was a private guesthouse that dealt with senior citizens. And then by 1976 it became Granny Bogner and has been a restaurant since that timeframe.”

The restaurant has been well-loved throughout the community over the years, though it recently scaled back operations to catering and pre-planned private events.

Although the building and its history are notable, it was not on the Penticton Heritage Registry.

“In 2005, there was a report called the Hobson Report which was a part of the Penticton Heritage Strategy. It listed A-Class, B-Class, and C-Class heritage sites,” said Manual.

“There was a difference of opinion by myself and the heritage advisory committee, and the Kelowna consultants about whether this should be an A-Class or a B-Class. He thought it shouldn’t be a B-Class because some of the interior walls had to change.”

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He went on to say that over the years, with the change of heritage advisory members, city council and city staff, the review of B-Class sites never happened, and the Bogner home was not included in the A-Class Heritage Registry.

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“What the problem is with this particular decision, is that the staff did not give enough information to the council to make a well-informed decision,” said Manual.

“Were they aware that this has been essentially hiding in the background for 20 years, to be a potential Heritage Conservation Area?”

Meanwhile, plans submitted to the city show a RE/MAX branded building with over 30 parking spaces proposed for this wedge-shaped lot.

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