March 13, 2013 - 6:21 PM
$130 MILLION DEVELOPMENT ALREADY APPROVED
By Julie Whittet
Two major development plans before the City of Kelowna this week could potentially re-shape the city's tourism with a focus far from downtown.
On Monday, City councillors approved a public hearing for Westcorp's $150-million Hiawatha Park revitalization project, and Tuesday approved a $130-million expansion project for Manteo Resort. Add in a widened road to both of them and you can see the Mission turning into Kelowna's prime tourism destination.
“The area has long been planned as a node for tourism, it's part of the new 2030 OCP (Official Community Plan),” says city planner Alec Warrender. The City also has a 20-year plan that calls for the widening of Lakeshore Drive from Richter street to Barnaby. The road currently sees 12,000 vehicles per day.
If the projects go forward, expect to see a busy construction zone around the intersection of Lakeshore Drive and Cook Road.
“Hiawatha and Manteo are the most pressing of the projects,” says Danielle Noble. The 600-unit development proposed for Hiawatha RV park site would require a lengthy building phase of “seven to ten years” according to Gail Temple, Westcorp spokesperson.
Noble says that's manageable because not a lot of competing construction activity is expected due to the varying construction phases. Manteo's first expansion phase will begin soon with 18 townhouses going up on the Lakeshore Inn property, which was purchased by the resort many years ago. Pre-market sales for the townhomes will open later this Spring, says Noble.
Manteo plans to build two new hotel towers across from Playa del Sol with construction beginning in 2018. The boutique hotels are imagined to be “higher end, customized hotels, not franchised in a commercial way,” says Noble. Full completion of the project is expected in eight to ten years.
The timing is a little different for Hiawatha. Construction could be delayed for a year because the developer must give current residents of the RV park 12 months to relocate.
As for resort development in Kelowna's downtown, Noble says it's there, just not on the same scale.
“It's a matter of site availability," she says. "Land availability is a driving factor.”
Westcorp currently has designs for a boutique hotel at the site of the old Willow Inn, and city council will discuss next month a proposal to build a new hotel with the Monaco development at the corner of St. Paul St. and Doyle Ave.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250) 718-0428.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013