Unique Kelowna housing application could change the way we look at industrial land | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Unique Kelowna housing application could change the way we look at industrial land

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February 01, 2019 - 8:00 PM

KELOWNA - While it has become common practice to combine commercial and residential uses in one building, a Kelowna contractor is looking at moving that model to an industrial setting.

Emil Anderson Construction will ask city council on Monday to let them build up to three four-storey buildings on their land in the North End of downtown Kelowna, at the foot of Knox Mountain.

“It’s an appropriate solution, long term, for that property in that very beautiful and unique transition between the mountain and the residential,” Matt Johnson told iNFOnews.ca. “I think it will be a really nice complement to the neighbourhood.”

Johnson is the owner of Architecturally Distinct Solutions. He’ll be taking the application to council for the 3.86-acre property at the north end of Ethel Street.

Currently, the land has an office building, workshops and stores heavy equipment.

The plan, if approved, is for three more buildings on the site with loading bays on the ground floor, two floors of offices and four residential suites on top.

The first building will be a bit experimental and may house Emil Anderson employees to see how well they like living next to industrial operations.

Two more similar buildings could be built in the future and the heavy equipment relocated to the company’s gravel pit on the Westside.

Even though the application is to amend the wording of the existing industrial zone to allow more housing units, it will still have to go to a public hearing and require a development variance permit.

If approved, it might be the first project in Kelowna combining industrial and residential but it isn’t the first time it’s been considered.

A special zone allowing for a combination of uses was created in 2014 for one specific property near Sexsmith Road, the report to council states. That never went ahead and the land has now been sold for a more traditional industrial use.

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