Central Green rental block adds badly needed density to downtown Kelowna - InfoNews

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Central Green rental block adds badly needed density to downtown Kelowna

January 08, 2018 - 4:00 PM

KELOWNA - With the city’s rental vacancy rate scrapping along at 0.2 per cent, any and all purpose-built rental housing is welcome.

Kelowna council on Monday, Jan. 8, is expected to approve the form and character of a five-story 108-unit building in the Central Green comprehensive development zone.

It's the second of four rental apartment buildings to be developed on the site. Staff are recommending applicant Mieklejohn Architects be allowed to go ahead with the project which will contain eight two-bedroom units, 85 one-bedroom units and 15 studio suites, all with balconies.

The building will sit on Richter Street across from Central School where Kelowna Secondary School once stood, according to a report by planner Lydia Korolchuk.

Council approved two years ago an amendment to the comprehensive development zone allowing density to be transferred from along Harvey Avenue, where 20-story high-rises had been proposed, to a pair of five-story rental buildings, including the one under consideration by council.

Because of its proximity to Harvey Avenue and the number of units being proposed, the developer will be required to construct an east right-turn lane from Highway 97 onto Richter Street as well as remove the crosswalk from the east side of Highway 97 at Ellis Street.

Kelowna council has since 2012 been offering inducements to developers to construct purpose-built rental housing. Well over 2,000 units have been approved since 2015 and are in various stages of construction.

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The report does not say when the developer plans to develop the other two rental apartment buildings.

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