Courtyard property next to Kelowna's Gospel Mission with $2.95M asking price sold to city | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Courtyard property next to Kelowna's Gospel Mission with $2.95M asking price sold to city

This courtyard at Kelowna's Gospel Mission has been bought by the city. It was listed for sale at $2.95 million.

An outdoor courtyard used by residents of the Gospel Mission homeless shelter in downtown Kelowna has been sold.

The tiny downtown lot has a front wall with gates and glassless windows lined with bars facing Leon Avenue. It’s between Kelowna's Gospel Mission building and Gotham nightclub.

“We were surprised to hear the courtyard had been purchased by the city as that sale had not been on our radar,” Carmen Rempel, executive director of Kelowna Gospel Mission said in an email to iNFOnews.ca.

“However, it is business as usual here at the Mission and we don’t expect any operational impacts. Our residents love the courtyard and are currently busy planting a row of sunflowers and a few tomato plants to add to the healing environment that space provides our community.”

The property was posted as sold on the HM Commercial Realty website today, May 17. Yesterday it said the sale was pending.

The asking price was $2.95 million for a lot that covers a mere 0.136 acres.

“This property is ideally situated in the downtown core just one block from City Park/Okanagan Lake, and walking distance to the Yacht Club, a wide variety of restaurants, shopping, financial institutions and professional services,” the listing says.

It goes on to say the current zoning is C7, which means it can be redeveloped into a 26-storey highrise.

The front of the building is painted with a mural that depicts Kelowna’s historical Chinatown that was once centred in that area of Kelowna but has long since been demolished.

READ MORE: How Mar Jok bridged the gap for Kelowna's Chinese community

“I was working with the museum in about 1971 when they demolished Chinatown and they left nothing,” Bob Hayes, president of the Kelowna branch of the Okanagan Historical Society, told iNFOnews.ca. “The developer left not a tree standing.”

The buildings, at that time, were wood-framed and most were set back from the road with vegetable gardens in the front.

Kelowna's Gospel Mission started as a drop-in centre that grew into the Gospel Mission Society in 1978, its website says. By 1985, it had a soup kitchen and an emergency shelter that remains there today.

In the fall of 2019, there were dozens of homeless people camped on the sidewalk outside the shelter who were relocated to a city-run campsite in the North End.

READ MORE: Shutdown of Kelowna homeless tent city catches campers by surprise

Since then, the buildings across the street have been demolished and construction has started on the first two towers of the three towers for the Water Street by the Park development, one of which will become the city’s tallest building at 42 storeys.


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