Three massive high-rises proposed in downtown Kelowna - InfoNews

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Three massive high-rises proposed in downtown Kelowna

This is the street view of what Leon Avenue could become should the proposed development go ahead.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / City of Kelowna
January 10, 2020 - 8:43 AM

A Vancouver ticket reseller has plans to build three high-rises on Leon Avenue in downtown Kelowna, one of which could go as high as 36 storeys.

The plans call for an 18-storey hotel and two “market housing” towers, one 24 storeys high and the other 36, on the former site of Boyds Tire across from Kelowna's Gospel Mission. 

Yesterday, Jan. 9, an application was filed at City Hall by Penticton-based HDR Architecture Associates Inc. saying it was representing Venue Kings.

Plans call for 600 residential suites in the two towers on the north side of Leon Avenue with 216 hotel suites on the south side. A pedestrian overpass over Leon Avenue will connect the residential towers to the hotel.

The project is called Water Street by the Park, referring to its proximity to City Park.

These three towers are proposed to be built near Kelowna's Gospel Mission.
These three towers are proposed to be built near Kelowna's Gospel Mission.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / City of Kelowna

In November, Boyds owner Chad Abougoush said he would relocate his business to Clement Avenue, blaming the City for its long inaction on homelessness. At that time, as many as 100 homeless people were being allowed to camp in the 200 block of Leon Avenue, including next to Boyds.

The homeless were subsequently relocated to a City-sanctioned camping area on Recreation Avenue and most have now have found spots in shelters.

iNFOnews.ca reported in November that Anthony Beyrouti, the owner of North Vancouver based Venue Kings Ticket Brokers, had bought the property Boyds sat on and a number of neighbouring properties for millions of dollars in the spring and summer of 2018.

In November, Beyrouti would not comment on his development plans and said he would have loved for Boyds and neighbouring Eco-Clean to have renewed their leases.

This drawing shows where the towers will be located in downtown Kelowna.
This drawing shows where the towers will be located in downtown Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / City of Kelowna

The application says the current C-7 zone allows for this size of development but requests four variances.

One is a height variance since the 36-storey tower is 55.9 metres higher than what is allowed under the zone but “the towers match the city’s vision for the future of this zone,” the application states.

Parking is also 239 stalls fewer than what is allowed but, given one tower is a hotel, the application suggests fewer stalls are needed. The other variances ask for 70 fewer bike parking stalls and for two digital display boards.

A text amendment to the zone is also being requested in order to allow for short-term rentals.

It will take several weeks before the proposal will reach Kelowna city council. Because variances are being requested, there will be an opportunity for public input.


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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