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GSL Group withdraws application for trio of high rises in Prospera parking lot

A proposal for three high rises in the parking lot of Prospera Place has been withdrawn.

During the Monday meeting, council was told that GSL Group has withdrawn their application for 1241 Water Street and a different proposal would be brought forward at a future date.

City staff were recommending that council authorize an “early consideration” process for the proposal that called for three buildings that would be 13, 22 and 26 storeys.

However, they were not recommending support for a site-specific text amendment in regards to building height for several reasons laid out in the staff report.

<who> Photo Credit: IRC Projects Inc. on behalf of GSLp Group

“The current proposal does not complement or positively interact with the arena, and Staff are concerned about current and future impacts on the surrounding blocks, streets and Art Walk,” the report said.

“The proposal is a large residential development asking for height increases without any guarantee of public parking provisions for the arena.”

Staff said a more appropriate use would have been office buildings that offer parking in the evenings and weekends for events in Prospera.

Other reasons staff listed included non-compliance with zoning regulations for the downtown core, non-compliance for several Official Community Plan policies, no road dedications on Water Street and Cawston Avenue and no “viable” plan to save the trees along Water Street.

They also said the number of new units being added to the downtown urban centre meets the target rate of 4,500 new units “well ahead of schedule.” They recommended the project be scaled down to comply with the OCP.

You can click here to review KelownaNow’s breakdown of the staff report and the full list of reasons they did not support the proposal.

It is unclear at this stage when GSL Group will bring back a modified plan for the property, however, it could be expected to take a couple months to draw up new design plans and submit new applications to the city for consideration.

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