A couple of weeks ago, the final public forum for the year discussing the future plans and complete makeover of the Capri-Landmark Centre, hosted by the City of Kelowna took place at Coast Capri Hotel. The event was well attended and many people came away liking what they saw. If you weren't in attendance, you may have missed seeing one of the initial plans proposed by a private developer specifically for the Capri Mall. The other day I stumbled across it on the city's website and wow, it's quite the proposed transformation.
This is Not Your Average Makeover
In these private developer plans, 10 towers line the perimeter of the square that stretches from Gordon to Capri, and Sutherland to Harvey, and in the middle, a large public area featuring an elevated NHL-size ice rink (of course!) that sits on top of a long rectangular one story residential building. The tallest of the buildings is 26 stories, while the other nine are between 18 and 22 stories.
There are also two additional four story residential rectangular buildings that will line Harvey, and if you look closely enough at the above architectural rendering, you can see the Coast Capri Hotel sitting there amongst all the newness.
What's also of note in this proposal is that five of the buildings, while varying slightly in height, will all look the same. I have my reservations here – variety is definitely the key to any thriving ecosystem and urban communities are no exception. I fear this monolithic approach may end up looking a little like the top-down modern housing projects of the 60s, those brown and grey slabs of concrete and brick that may have been well-intentioned but did not age well to say the least. However, diverse mixed-use, with some solid retail options (not all banks and nail salons) at street level would do a lot to overcome this issue.
Currently 2,400 people live in the Capri-Landmark area, and when this new square is completed, along with the expansion of new development stretching to Spall Road, that number is expected to rise to around 9,000 within the next 20 years.
Back in August, City Council endorsed a preferred concept (see link at the bottom) to serve as the foundation for a new Capri-Landmark Urban Centre Plan. It was developed with extensive community input and technical analysis to address future growth, how people will get around, and where future residents and workers will have access to parks and public space. This forum was phase 3 of the city's public engagement, and there will certainly be more in the new year, as additional private developer proposals are submitted. We'll keep you updated. As for now, we like the proposed direction.
Fun fact: Do you know where the name Capri came from? The family who initially developed this area had a last name of Capozzi. Capri used to be Pridhams Orchard. The family took the first two letters of their last name and combined it with the first three letters of the old orchard, and named the area CAPRI.
PDF of the above proposal on the city's website.
PDF of preferred concept for the entire Capri-Landmark Centre on the city's website (note: it will download automatically when clicked).