Demolition of old Kelowna cop shop makes way for high-rise, bigger community theatre - InfoNews

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Demolition of old Kelowna cop shop makes way for high-rise, bigger community theatre

A new theatre and residential high-rise are envisioned for the former RCMP detachment location on Doyle Avenue in downtown Kelowna.
Image Credit: City of Kelowna
May 29, 2019 - 3:30 PM

KELOWNA - It will be a short walk for some downtown Kelowna residents to attend a show at an expanded Kelowna Community Theatre.

That’s because they will be able to live in a high-rise tower next to the theatre on land where the old RCMP building once stood. Demolition of the police building last fall made room not just for the proposed housing complex, but also for an expanded theatre.

“We’re doing a lot of background due diligence, assuring the development can occur consistent with the Civic Precinct Plan,” Graham Hood, strategic land development manager with the city told “A plan is one thing, but we have to make sure we can deliver on that plan.”

The former RCMP building was spread over 2.72 acres. More than two-thirds of the land will be subdivided. Part will be set aside for a proposed 1,200 seat Kelowna Community Theatre, while other land is needed to extend the Art Walk from the south side of Doyle Avenue, and to create a community plaza.

The Civic Precinct Plan, which was adopted in 2016, calls for the remaining 0.84 acres of land to be sold or leased to a developer. Right now, it’s envisioned to become a 12-storey residential tower with 6,000 square feet of community space inside.

Hood said the public consultation on that land use was done back in 2016 so there's no plan to have any further discussion outside of City Hall. He’s expecting the land to be leased over 60 years to a developer, as was done with the Innovation Centre, but that determination is not yet final.

Despite the fact lots of high-rises are being built in downtown Kelowna right now, Hood doesn’t see any problem generating interest in the project.

“There’s a lot of development going on but, I think, there would still be a real appetite for something in that location,” he said. “It’s such a unique site with that connection to the cultural district and the downtown and the views of the lake.”

The Civic Precinct Plan calls for Kelowna Community Theatre to be replaced sometime between 2025 and 2027 for $52.5 million, but that funding has not been approved by city council.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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