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VIDEO: Plans for downtown wine centre in Kelowna have been scrapped

The scaffolding has done well holding the historic brick facade in place for a few years, but plans for what's to go behind it have crumbled.

It was supposed to become a 625-seat wine bar, lounge, interpretive centre and tasting room, education centre, wine shop and rooftop deck.

The plan was ambitious.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

Too ambitious for the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"They found as they got into the liquor licensing process that there were some challenges there," said Kelowna's head of planning, Ryan Smith.

"So they chose to take a step back and re-look at the plan entirely."

The developer, The Mark Anthony Group, remains interested in pursuing something special for the property.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"We continue to work with the City of Kelowna and local licensing agencies," said spokesperson Ian Galbraith in an email to KelownaNow, "as we look for ways to enhance the design of the site with an innovative concept that will add to the downtown core."

To prepare for the construction of the wine centre, a lot of the century-old building was brought down, but preserving that brick facade had at least some heritage buffs satisfied.

"This is a good example of what we call 'heritage rehabilitation', said Chattaway, as the demolition began in January of 2021.

"This form of rehabilitation actually helps protect and preserve heritage buildings long into the future."

<who> Photo Credit: Now Media

While the future of the property is decided, the crane on the property is expected to come down, but Smith said that doesn't mean the plans have come to an end.

"It's not that nothing will happen," he said. "Something will happen there. "It's just going to be something different than was originally imagined."

For residents who have become used to that scaffolding, it means we will be looking at it for a while yet, while the city looks forward to seeing what 'plan b' might look like.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"We're always excited to see what a property owner or business owner comes forward with," said Smith.

But this one is significant.

"This is kind of a key site, the entrance to downtown," Smith continued. "With the heritage facade that's being protected, the building that's behind it can really show off that architecture."

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who> Ryan Smith

"This is kind of a key site, the entrance to downtown," Smith continued.

"With the heritage facade that's being protected, the building that's behind it can really show off that architecture."

The building went up in 1908 and expanded to two storeys in 1928.

The Mark Anthony Group is an international beverage company.

The organization has holdings which include Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, White Claw and Mike's Hard Lemonade.

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