Every Sunday we'll recap local lifestyle and culture news that you may have missed over the last seven days.
This week, city council approved the big development in the Mission and renovations for the Towne Centre, local media speculated on the Kelowna Courier's demise, Mayor Colin Basran brought up some interesting transportation talk at the State of the City address, and one of our favourite food trucks announced that it's looking for a buyer.
Aqua is Approved
In an 8-1 vote Tuesday evening, city council approved Mission Group's Aqua condo and boat storage proposal to be built beside the Hotel Eldorado. We covered the proposal here. The lone dissenter happened to be the mayor. “I applaud the developer for making changes to the original proposal and I believe this project brings a lot to the community,” Basran said prior to the vote. However, when it comes to the changes, Basran continued, “In my estimation, they don’t quite go far enough.” “I wish it would have been scaled back just a little bit more,” the mayor said. “The massing of the buildings on this site is a bit too much.”
What? We're Not Closing
Earlier in the week, one of our city blogs discovered a commercial real estate listing, advertising that the Kelowna Daily Courier land is for sale. The property, situated on the corner of Doyle Ave. and St. Paul in downtown Kelowna (they've been there since 1974) is listed for $12.7 million. Speculation quickly escalated amongst local media that the Courier was not only selling its land, but that is was closing its doors for good.
On Thursday, the Courier published it's own article to put the speculation to rest. No, they are not closing. They are taking advantage of real estate prices – St. Paul has become a hot bed of development over the last year – and with technology redefining how today's papers are printed, the amount of space that the Courier currently occupies naturally has become superfluous.
It is however another sign of the times in today's journalism – one where media companies (the Courier is run and partially owned by David Radler, he of Conrad Black/Hollinger infamy) streamline costs, often by replacing much original content with wire services and "shared resources" across their titles. Sadly, the Courier cut their great photographer, Gary Nylander this month, as well as another long-term editor in what appears to be the downsizing of this "disrupted" industry.
We're thankful that the Courier is going to stay with us and continue to report on local news that matters. With smaller city papers closing down across Canada, it's still a welcome bit of good news for news readers and writers in general.
Towne Centre No More
This past Monday, city council approval was granted for renovations to go forward on downtown's Towne Centre Mall. With the new reno will come a new name for the mall – "The District". We covered the plans here.
State of the City Address
Mayor Colin Basran touched on a number subjects during Friday's sold out State of the City address in front of Kelowna's Chamber of Commerce, but the one that caught our ears was his mention of a need for a light rail corridor between Central, North, and South Okanagan. With Kelowna's population expected to grow by an additional 30,000 people by 2030, there are opportunities presently available, specifically between Central and North Okanagan to have a small car rail train run. Admitting that a light rail system is still years away, "the discussions need to start now", he said.
Bare Taco is Looking for a Buyer
One of our favourite food trucks (more of a food trailer) is selling its business. You've probably seen Bare Taco parked along Water St by the ice rink all winter offering its delicious vegan taco takes. The owner is moving to Vancouver and wishes to have the business sold by late February. For $35,000, you get a whole lot, including the owner's delectable recipes. Given Kelowna's robust vegan community, here's hoping someone jumps at the chance. You can see the for sale listing here.
Summerland's TH Wines is Looking for an Investor
Tyler Harlton of TH Wines is looking for an investor for his Summerland Winery. After receiving his vinification training in New Zealand and at Osoyoos Larose in Oliver, he opened TH Wines in 2011. The winery is a small producer with high ambition, and creates very high quality wines with a focus on sustainably-minded consumers. The winery is currently offering a variety of wines including a very Summerland-y apricot and botanical forward viognier, as well as a riesling, cab franc, and pinot noir. As indicated in the Instagram post below, they're looking for a partner with creative vision backed up by previous experience in the industry.
SEEKING ACTIVE PARTNER AT OKANAGAN WINERY In the words of Springsteen: “Man I’m just tired and bored with myself Hey there baby, I could use just a little help” TH WINES: Built on passion, energy and imagination, and an attention to detail. Year on year revenue increasing with strong profit margins. Demand is solid and rising. Positioned to bring on an active investor. YOU: Capital to invest, seeking a hands-on role in a place where you can start a fire. Creative vision backed up by previous experience in the industry. Apply in confidence, our advising team will consider offers/ideas. firstname.lastname@example.org #opportunityunlocked