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UPDATE: More details revealed for 12-storey hotel proposed for downtown Kelowna

(UPDATE: April 1 @ 1:35 pm) – More details about a major hotel proposal in downtown Kelowna have been made public.

In late March, Mark Anthony Group submitted an Official Community Plan amendment, development variance permit and development permit applications for 1570 and 1580 Water Street.

The OCP amendment would be to amend the downtown building height map to the “highest category” for this property. Currently, buildings in this area of downtown are limited to three storeys.

The development permit application is for a 12 storey hotel with 72 rooms, including an amenity space, 11th floor restaurant, off-site parking and a rooftop amenity lounge.

The development variance permit is to vary the upper floor setback from the required three metres to a proposed zero metres.

A parking variance is also being requested to coordinate with off-site valet parking.

McKinley Studios, on behalf of the developer, presented plans this week about the proposal.

<who> Photo Credit: McKinley Studios/NowMedia

The development is described as a “luxury boutique hotel and vibrant restaurant.”

“The 12-storey, 72 room boutique hotel will provide a much-needed upscale destination that is new to the Kelowna market. featuring an iconic dining experience and rooftop lounge with access to breathtaking views, the hotel will become the place to be, reflecting the spirit and vibrancy of the Okanagan's renowned wine country, bolstered by Mark Anthony Group’s deep culinary expertise,” says the 28-page project application.

“This special project will surely become a downtown destination. it is truly a landmark opportunity to continue to tell the story of both the past and future of Kelowna and the Okanagan axis.”

The developer’s application refers to the “historical significance” and context of the neighbouring firefall and of the ol Courier Building, which sat at 1570 Water Street.

According to the application, the design team will work to highlight the historical character of the area while enhancing the pedestrian realm.

The podium will include the hotel lobby, retail space and hotel amenity space. The main floor will provide access to an amenity spa, which will be open to the public and hotel guests.

Floors three through 10 will be dedicated to hotel rooms while floor 11 would include a restaurant with access to a rooftop pavilion and patio.

Although parking is considered off-site, the developers have been unable to find options for an adequate parkade but say they are willing to work with the city to find a solution, including paying a bond.

These applications have since been circulated around city hall and a staff report to city council can be expected in the near future.


(Original story: Mar. 26 @ 9:49 am) – Applications have been submitted at city hall for a major redevelopment of an “orphaned” heritage facade in the downtown core.

Although the applications are showing up on the city’s developments page, actual documents have yet to be uploaded.

Mark Anthony Group has submitted Official Community Plan amendment, development variance permit and development permit applications for 1570 and 1580 Water Street.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia file picture

The OCP amendment would be to amend the downtown building height map to the “highest category” for this property.

Currently, buildings in this area of downtown are limited to three storeys.

However, the development permit application is for a 12 storey hotel with 72 rooms, including an amenity space, 11th floor restaurant, off-site parking and a rooftop amenity lounge.

The development variance permit is to vary the upper floor setback from the required three metres to a proposed zero metres.

A parking variance is also being requested to coordinate with off-site valet parking.

KelownaNow will update this story when the documents, including site plans and potential conceptual renderings, are uploaded to the city’s site.

Property has sparked criticism in the past

The properties at 1570 and1580 Water St. have been the subject of much criticism due to the work done on the former heritage building three years ago.

Currently, there is only a brick frontage being supported by metal scaffolding on the site.

The property was supposed to be developed into a wine bar, lounge and tasting room by the same developer, however, those plans fell through due to regulatory issues.

Some members of the Central Okanagan Heritage Society see it as “heritage failure,” arguing that the former building did not have to be torn down and should have been better preserved.



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