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'Protected views for life' from Alma on Abbott condos

A bit of nostalgia is going into the visioning of the six-storey 'Alma on Abbott' condominium complex.

"If you know Kelowna, you know about the genteel flow of Abbott Street and that an Abbott Street address is desirable," said Jonathan Friesen, CEO of Mission Group, which is building Alma.

"Alma will be for people who want to be close to the lake, have views of the lake, but not live in a highrise, and want the vibe of Pandosy Village just a couple of blocks away."

</who>Jonathan Friesen is the CEO of Kelowna-based developer Mission Group.

Alma, to be completed in the summer of 2025, is even guaranteeing 'protected views for life.'

That's right, Alma's location across the street and facing the new Pandosy Waterfront Park means nothing will ever be built in front of it to block the unobstructed vista of park, beach and Okanagan Lake.

</who>This drawing shows where Alma on Abbott will be located, in the lower right hand of the picture. Below, a closer up rendering.

Mission Group is one of Kelowna's most prolific builders, famous for its skyline-changing highrise developments -- the 20-storey Ella condo at Ellis Street and Lawrence Avenue downtown; the trio of towers at Bernard Block (the 25-storey Brooklyn condo, 34-storey Bertram condo and 17-storey The Block angular office tower); and the three, tiered highrises of 13, 15 and 17-storeys that will make up the Aqua waterfront community just south of the Hotel Eldorado.

</who>Mission Group is also developing Bernard Block, a trio of highrises, above, at the corners of Bernard Avenue, St. Paul Street and Bertram Street downtown. Below, Aqua is a waterfront community of three towers Mission Group is building just south of the Hotel Eldorado.

Alma will be a return to Mission Group's lowrise roots.

"Our background is more 'quaint,' if you will," said Friesen.

"Lowrise gave us our start and got us to where we are now."

After all, Mission Group kicked off its tear in Kelowna with four-storey condo buildings -- eight of them at The Verve in North Glenmore and another eight condo buildings beside the UBC Okanagan campus called U 1 through 8 in a nod to the 'U' in university.

"It will be nice to show that we build not just highrises, this time with Alma," said Friesen.

"We expect our typical customers for Alma will be people who already live in Kelowna and want to be closer to the lake in an urban setting, but not in a highrise. Being up in the air is not for everyone."

Friesen also expects some buyers from Vancouver who will purchase as an investment and rent out the unit to visitors after the same things as residents -- luxury digs, views, smaller building and all the amenities, restaurants and shops of Pandosy Village within a short walking distance.

</who> This will be the view from Alma on Abbott over the new Pandosy Waterfront Park.

Alma will rise six storeys with a ground-level parkade base fronted by townhouses and a couple of storefronts.

The second floor will contain some condos and a huge rooftop green space with community gardens, barbecue area, outdoor dining and firepits.

Floors three through six will be condos in an L-shape white cube that seems suspended over the rooftop terrace and base of the building.

Prices haven't been set, but Friesen imagines the studio units will start in the mid-$300,000s, the one-bedrooms in the mid-$500,000s, the two-beds in the mid-$600,000s and the townhouses from $1.2 million.

That's premium pricing, a reflection of what will be quality construction, luxury finishes, building amenities and prime location sandwiched between the lake and park and Pandosy Village.

Mission Group has its sights set on more projects -- both lowrise and highrise -- over the next few years.

Next to the Okanagan College campus in Penticton it plans to build 200 rental apartments in four-storey complexes aimed at helping alleviate the shortage of student housing in the city.

Next to UBC Okanagan's under-construction, 43-storey vertical campus on St. Paul Street downtown, Mission Group will build a 'sister' highrise with condos and some rental units.

At 346 Lawrence Ave. at the corner of Water Street, a luxury, 40-storey condo tower is planned for those that want the downtown lifestyle.

And, on the former BC Tree Fruits property of four acres in the North End, Mission Group plans to build a series of highrise condos and affordable rental apartments that will tie into the comprehensive park-highrise-hotel-shops-and-restaurants redevelopment of the former Tolko forestry mill site.

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