Council selects proponent for new West Kelowna Civic Centre

West Kelowna Council has chosen a preferred proponent for the development of a Municipal Hall/Civic Centre at 3641 Elliott Road and will now enter into negotiations for a possible contract with New Town/Sturgess Group regarding its proposed development at the site.

Mayor Doug Findlater announced today that West Kelowna Council had selected New Town/Sturgess Group out of the four proponents invited to submit proposals in January. The three unsuccessful proponents will be given a $25,000 honorarium for their submissions. This honorarium ensured that the District received quality submissions, and the municipality now owns the intellectual property.

Mayor Findlater said Council was extremely pleased with the quality and initiative shown by the four selected proponents who participated in the conceptual design Request for Proposal phase of the Municipal Hall/Civic Centre project.

“The response we received from the four proponents was exceptional, with a great deal of effort and attention put into the submissions. We truly had some exciting opportunities to consider and engaged in detailed debate on the merits of all the submissions,” says Mayor Findlater.  “The process itself has resulted in an excellent option for the development of a municipal hall, and more importantly, the potential for economic revitalization of West Kelowna, Council’s key priority since incorporation.”

The conceptual design proposal presented for 3641 Elliott Road calls for a two-phased approach.

The first phase includes:
•   A 24,015 square foot Municipal Hall, owned by the District
•   The Option to include 7,000 square feet of expansion or lease space in the Municipal Hall
•   One residential building, owned by the developer
•   A Public Plaza, owned by the developer
•   One office building with a commercial component on lower level, owned by the developer
•   A Café plaza near the commercial area, owned by the developer
•   Underground and above-ground parking - Municipal Hall parking will be owned by the District)

The second phase would include:
•    A second residential building, built when market justifies a second building

The area where the second building would be built would be landscaped in Phase 1 and incorporated into the public plaza until the time of Phase 2 construction.

Preliminary estimates have placed the cost of the development of the Municipal Hall/Civic Centre at $8.9 million, including the land, and the municipality would own the building and the land it sits on when the project is complete. Additional funds will be required for project contingency. The District anticipates the cost to build the municipal hall can be assumed within the municipality’s current budget without any additional tax burden on residents over what is in the current 10-year financial plan. The District is also actively seeking funding opportunities, partnerships with other governmental agencies, and leasing opportunities to offset the costs of this project.

West Kelowna residents will be asked to indicate their support for the potential borrowing of funds to complete the project, through either an alternate approval process before the November municipal election or a referendum in conjunction with the election.

“Council is excited to share with the public what we envision for our community’s Municipal Hall/Civic Centre, and what New Town/Sturgess has proposed. We believe that this proposal meets our needs for municipal operations, and will also provide a kick start to the economic activity West Kelowna needs,” says Mayor Findlater. “We are steadfast in our belief that a key to revitalization is bringing residents to the area and are pleased with the residential component of the proposal. The community is in need of a public plaza, a gathering place for our celebrations and ceremonies, and we are focusing on bringing key public agencies together into the second office building, bringing West Kelowna’s civic service to one area to better serve our residents.”

Mayor Findlater cautioned that there are many steps still to be taken before any shovels hit the ground.

“We will now begin the detailed negotiation and planning of this project,” says Mayor Findlater. Details like site servicing, zoning, permits, ministry approvals, potential partnership opportunities and borrowing considerations are now on deck for us to tackle. There’s still a long way to go, but I know that I speak for all Council when I say we are very glad to be at a point where we know where we want our Civic Centre to be and are seeing the vision of this project come to life. This project is complimented by the work we are doing to establish our works yard in Boucherie Centre and eventually returning our temporary municipal hall, Mt. Boucherie Community Hall, to its former use as a community centre.”

Additional information regarding the proposal, potential economic benefits, financial considerations, overall civic service picture and more is available on the District’s website, under Mayor & Council – Municipal Hall/Civic Centre.

“We will be engaging the public in more than just the financial considerations. We will want to hear what residents think at many stages in the process and there will be opportunities for consultation,” says Mayor Findlater. “Watch for news on these opportunities in the coming weeks.”

CANNINGS: On rural municipalities, young people, and a national carbon tax
  OPINION Editor, In my last column, I discussed some of the issues we heard about at House Finance Committee hearings.  I’d like to mention a few more of the thought-provoking ideas discussed on the se

Top News