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City council approves 33-storey waterfront hotel

Kelowna’s future tallest building has gotten the green light.

City council approved the 33-storey waterfront hotel during a special public hearing at city hall on Tuesday night.

<who>Photo Credit: KelownaNow

The meeting lasted about three hours and allowed for Kelowna residents, both in favour and against the hotel, to speak up to for five minutes each.

The majority of those who spoke in front of council were in favour of the project being approved.

<who>Photo Credit: Westcorp

When all was said and done, council voted 5-2 in favour of the project, with Ryan Donn and Charlie Hodge voting against.

Maxine DeHart excluded herself from the vote due to a conflict of interest and Tracy Gray didn’t attend Tuesday’s meeting.

The vote went against city staff’s recommendation, but mayor Colin Basran says it was necessary to do so.

<who>Photo Credit: Westcorp

“We have some of the best staff in the country...I don’t fault staff on their recommendation,” said Basran. “But this is a project worthy of pushing past the policy and moving forward with.”

“For me, this project epitomizes what we are trying to become as a vibrant, progressive city with a world-class downtown.”

Other councillors used words like beacon, iconic, signature and five-star to describe the project, saying it's the special project that piece of land has been waiting for.

<who>Photo Credit: Westcorp

The 33-storey tower will feature 174 hotel rooms, 40 residences and a public restaurant on the 17th floor.

It will all sit on top of 289 parking stalls, the majority of which will sit underground.

Once completed, it will be the tallest building in Kelowna and the tallest building in between Vancouver and Calgary.

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