Westcorp’s massive downtown Kelowna hotel gets approved again | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Westcorp’s massive downtown Kelowna hotel gets approved again

This 33-storey Westcorp hotel was approved by Kelowna City Council on Feb. 4, 2020.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Westcorp
February 05, 2020 - 5:19 PM

Westcorp’s long planned waterfront hotel in downtown Kelowna sailed through city council last night, Feb. 4 as it was granted a new development permit.

The project has been more than a decade in the making. Westcorp was a major player in drafting the CD-21 plan for consolidating land in the downtown core and developing the area in a coordinated manner. That fell through so the company went ahead on its own with plans for what’s billed as a luxury hotel at the foot of Queensway Avenue.

It did get a development permit in 2018 but such permits are only good for two years and was set to expire this month so, along with some variances, new applications went to council.

The plan is for a 33-storey tower, which is why one of the variances was granted since the zone only allows for 26 storeys.

It’s a project that city staff recommended against in 2018. This time around, staff supported the plan based on the fact that it had already been approved but they did note some ongoing concerns.

“It has never been the City’s intention to achieve the region’s tallest building on this property due to the property’s close proximity and relationship to important civic spaces including Kerry Park & Stuart Park, Okanagan Lake, Bernard Avenue and City Hall,” current staff quoted in their report to council. These words were taken from the 2018 staff report.

It will no longer qualify as the city’s tallest building since the east tower of One Water Street, currently under construction, will be 36 storeys. Beyrouti Holdings is proposing a 42-storey tower at the corner of Water Street and Leon Avenue.

Current staff also said if construction doesn’t start in the two years this permit is good for, then the file should be closed and any future applications start from the beginning.

City council voted 6-1 in favour of the application with Coun. Charlie Hodge the only one to vote no. Couns. Maxine DeHart and Ryan Donn did not attend the meeting.

Click here to read more on the project.

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