iN PHOTOS: The high-rise future of Kelowna's skyline - InfoNews

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iN PHOTOS: The high-rise future of Kelowna's skyline

In this old photo submitted by the City of Kelowna, the 1151 Sunset Drive location was added in editing. Other versions show the location veiled in green, as it is still under construction but not complete.
August 19, 2018 - 12:00 PM

KELOWNA - There’s no question, Kelowna’s skyline is undergoing a transformation like it’s never seen before. So we decided to imagine what it might look like in a few years, should all that’s been proposed come to pass.

This city is in the midst of a high-rise boom, with five towers under construction and four more under serious consideration. There’s also strong interest in some prime development sites.

Leading the way is 1151 Sunset, Kelowna’s 21-storey high-rise phoenix, which rose from the ashes of a previously stalled project to become the first high-rise to be built in the downtown core in a decade.

A screenshot from Google Maps, showing approximate locations for Kelowna building developments.
A screenshot from Google Maps, showing approximate locations for Kelowna building developments.

The building is just months away from occupancy and its swift market uptake a couple of years back lead developer Kerkhoff Construction to move ahead on One Water next door.

Construction began last fall on the 36-storey East tower and Kerkhoff announced this spring it would proceed with the 29-storey West tower.

Across Water Street, the 14-storey Ellis Parc by GSL Group has begun foundation construction (although it’s been held up by permitting problems) while at the other end of Ellis Street, construction is well underway on the 21-storey Ella, the first high-rise to be constructed downtown south of Bernard Avenue in decades.

A look at the proposed skyline from Okanagan Lake.
A look at the proposed skyline from Okanagan Lake.

Even the completion of those buildings would have a profound impact on Kelowna’s largely low-rise skyline but there’s others waiting in the wings, most notably the 36-storey Westcorp hotel and condo project slated for the former Willow Inn site on Mill Street and Queensway Avenue.

The clock is ticking on the two-year development permit given the company last August and Westcorp has delayed start of construction over concerns about the provincial speculation tax, however the company could start construction any time before next August.

Further inland, the Mission Group has announced a development proposal for the 21-storey Brooklyn on St. Paul at Bernard Avenue while GSL Group has also put forth plans for a pair of towers, 37 floors and 27 floors, in the parking lot of Prospera Place.

Further back in the queue are possible development sites such as the Monaco site and Daily Courier sites at Doyle Avenue and St. Paul Street.

Each site would support two buildings, with the Daily Courier site currently zoned for 12 storeys. The Monaco site across the street once had approval for some taller towers but never proceeded with construction.

Finally, there’s the Civic site, so named because it's in the midst of the city’s Civic block on the site of the soon-to-be-demolished RCMP detachment on Doyle Avenue near Water Street.

In this old photo submitted by the City of Kelowna, the 1151 Sunset Drive location was added in editing. Other versions show the location veiled in green, as it is still under construction but not complete.
In this old photo submitted by the City of Kelowna, the 1151 Sunset Drive location was added in editing. Other versions show the location veiled in green, as it is still under construction but not complete.

Currently zoned for 14 storeys, the city-owned site has already generated strong developer interest as it's likely to see a taller building under a development variance request.

Not shown in any of our views are the multiple towers that could eventually go up on the Capri Centre comprehensive redevelopment. As many as 15 buildings of varying heights have been proposed for the site.  

An engineer's rendering of the current Kelowna skyline.
An engineer's rendering of the current Kelowna skyline.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Aplin & Martin/Josh Graff

The building developments that are currently in stream. Kelowna may see a skyline like this within the next five to ten years.
The building developments that are currently in stream. Kelowna may see a skyline like this within the next five to ten years.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Aplin & Martin/Josh Graff

A look ahead at the Kelowna skyline in about 20+ years, based on expected population trends according to the province.
A look ahead at the Kelowna skyline in about 20+ years, based on expected population trends according to the province.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Aplin & Martin/Josh Graff

To contact a reporter for this story, email John McDonald 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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