Kelowna News

Plan for a new hotel in downtown Kelowna just got a lot taller

Westcorp submitted a development proposal to Kelowna City Council Thursday for a 32-storey hotel building in the city's downtown core.
Image Credit: Westcorp

KELOWNA - The company behind a proposal to build a high-rise hotel in downtown Kelowna is back before the City asking for an even taller building.

A development proposal application was submitted to the City yesterday, Aug. 24, for a 32-storey hotel.

The Westcorp project proposal at the former Willow Inn site on Water Street, will include 174 hotel rooms, 49 residences, conference centre, sky-restaurant, coffee shop and retail space, according to a media release.

The original development proposal for the then 24-storey high-rise was approved by city council back in June, 2014, but construction was delayed several times.

Westcorp's new proposal includes several other changes.

Instead of above-ground parking, the current project includes two levels of underground parking separated into 156 stalls of hotel and public parking, and 133 stalls of above ground residential parking.

"With the decision to put most of the parking underground, the design team has been able to pull the hotel tower closer to Water Street," Westcorp vice-president Gail Temple says in the release. "The terraces that slope away from the lake have created a soft edge along Kerry Park."

“At 32 storeys, the tower will look the same height as the One Water project in the north end and will essentially “bookend” the Civic District,” reads the proposal submitted to the City. “In sky line studies, the tower stands out from its surrounding neighbours, but with the recent approval of 20 storeys at Lawrence and Ellis and with other towers anticipated to follow in the Lawrence and Leon corridors, the hotel tower will become the “edge” of a downtown core tower cluster over time.”

A “glowing beacon structure” will top the building, making it easily visible in the night skyline.

Kelowna City Council will consider the proposal this winter.

Find past stories on the Westcorp hotel development proposal here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Hickman 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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