How Kelowna's South Pandosy neighbourhood got its groove back | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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How Kelowna's South Pandosy neighbourhood got its groove back

February 27, 2021 - 9:30 AM

When Roy Hulse wanted to expand his Scallywags clothing business in the late 1990s, he wasn’t keen on following the Mexican stylings of nearby Mission Park Shopping Centre.

He was pleasantly surprised when Kelowna City Hall approved his design for a new building on the corner of Pandosy Street and West Avenue that was dubbed Scallywags Junction and is still highly visible today with its striking Marmalade Cat Café on the corner.

It transformed the neighbourhood after it opened in the winter of 2000.

“It really sort of lifted the local area with this new building,” Hulse told “When we actually took down the hoarding – there was plastic hoarding all the way around it so it could be worked on all through the winter — all of a sudden there was this multicoloured building, sort of gingerbready style or Colonial style. It was, hopefully, going to fit in with the slightly Mexican theme.”

It, obviously, was a hit since those who followed in revitalizing or replacing their shops didn’t even try to fit into what was, at the time, thought to be the city’s vision to have a Mexican-themed neighbourhood.

It was certainly eye-catching.

“I’ve never seen so many rear-ender car accidents,” Hulse said. “When we took down the hoarding, drivers would be looking left instead of straight ahead. People were braking so quite a few people were running into the back of each other because it was visible to Joe Public for the first time.”

It was more than just a striking building.

It served as a factory for Hulse’s Scallywags children's clothing line that had quickly grown into a chain of stores in luxury hotels in B.C. and Alberta.

Rather than putting in a large building with a single business in it, he wanted to create a shopping experience mirroring that of his native England.

“We wanted to create a corner which was full of small stores,” Hulse said. “The Canadian or North American thing to be done was to take 5,000 square feet and turn it into a furniture store or something big. In England, we were trained that small is beautiful and probably easier to maintain.”

So the building was designed with five stores along the outside of the factory with offices and a residential unit above. Rather than lease out space, Hulse and his wife, Anne, developed their own businesses, like Blue Ginger Trading, Serendipity and Tiddlywinks that fit in with their Scallywags outlet.

“We tried to bring back the art of shopping – small stores, interesting, all of the same taste and appealing to the same sort of persons,” Hulse said. “It was like a departmental store on the corner but there were more doors to it and it was more nicky nacky. It became very much a centre of that area removed from the Mission Mall.”

Over the years, as they got older, the Hulses sold off the various businesses and ended up as landlords. In 2016, they decided to fully retire and put the building on the market.

It sold within three or four days.

Now, what was a bit of a run-down area of the city, has been revitalized. Nearby is the new SOPA Square with its 14-storey residential tower and there are plans in the works for more towers in the neighbourhood.

Just as Hulse didn’t follow the Mexican theme of the Mission Park Shopping Centre, the new towers vary dramatically from the Colonial-themed Scallywags Junction.

But the Junction created a vibe that led the way as South Pandosy revitalized and continues to transform.

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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