Developer plans to build Kelowna’s tallest building at 42 storeys - InfoNews

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Developer plans to build Kelowna’s tallest building at 42 storeys

One of three towers proposed for Leon Avenue could be 42 stories, the tallest in Kelowna.
Image Credit: Submitted/City of Kelowna
January 13, 2020 - 5:00 PM

While the Gospel Mission has been helping the homeless for decades, it’s also been blamed for businesses fleeing that part of downtown.

Now Anthony Beyrouti wants to change the total character of the 200 block of Leon Avenue which, just a few months ago, was the site of a homeless tent city inhabited by about 100 people.

“When building on the property we’re building on, what needs to happen is to create something that’s going to re-energize the area,” Beyrouti told iNFOnews.ca today, Jan. 13. “So, what can we do? We need to build a nice building so we’re doing that.

“In my opinion, one of the towers has got to be the tallest in the city so we’re doing that. And we’ve got to have a little bit of commercial so we’re doing that on one side of the street and we’ve got to have a nice amenity package for the people who are going to be buying in the building. We’ve tried to incorporate all the things we possibly can to make it a unique proposal so people are excited about it.”

An application by HDR Architecture Associates that went to the city last week cited buildings of 36, 24 and 18 storeys.

Beyrouti clarified the proposal by saying there are five levels of parking and one amenity floor under the towers so, actually, they will be 42, 30 and 24 stories.

Currently the east tower of One Water Street, which is still under construction, is slated to be the tallest building in Kelowna at 36 storeys.

The two residential towers on the north side of Leon Avenue will be condominiums for sale and, if his application to the city is accepted, will also be available for short term rentals through things like Airbnb.

The hotel that’s planned for the south side of Leon Avenue may actually be changed to rentals.

In all there are 816 units planned.

Beyrouti also clarified that the project is not being done by Venue Kings Ticket Brokers, his ticket resale business based in North Vancouver. It’s actually being done by Beyrouti Holdings. While he has some experience in real estate, he said this is his first project as a developer.

He’s hoping go get four variances – including a 56 metre hight variance – and an amendment to allow for the Airbnb rentals through the city quickly so he can start selling units and get construction underway, with a goal of having the three towers completed in a couple of years.

Once that’s done, he plans to contribute $100,000 a year to feed and house the homeless. That would be ongoing for 10 years for a total of $1 million.

“One of the things we believe in is that each corporation has shareholders and each group of people who are impacted by a corporation are the stakeholders,” Beyrouti said. “In this situation, the stakeholders are the people who live in the area, the people who work in the area and the people who interact in the area. So one of things we want to do – we understand in this specific area there’s a lot of need to help with the homeless – so we want to do our part.”

He wants to work with the city to find the best way to use that money for the homeless but did not have any suggestions as to what that might look like.

“We think we can do something special here and hopefully everybody gets on board,” Beyrouti said. “It’s an opportunity to save the street - all the things people don’t like about an area - and totally change the entire narrative behind it.”


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