Round Up

Downtown’s Next Addresses

The food and drink scene keeps rolling north of downtown

When it comes to new developments – commercial, residential and creative – all eyes are on the north end these days. We take a quick look past the completion of those huge towers to the types of businesses and outfits that are beginning to comprise the light industrial mixed use (but likely more commercial and residential-focussed initiatives) of this broad-spectrum zoning north of Clement. While we have our reservations about this kind of land use, we are also excited about

 
KelRe

The North End is the Yaletown of Kelowna? PC Urban Says So

Is this a hopeful sign for creative spaces, or a glitzy end run around gentrification straight to sell out

Kelowna real estate agent Steve Laursen has partnered with Vancouver’s PC Urban to sell the commercial flex and office units being built along the Clement Ave. corridor between Ethel and Richter, and a press release recently went out to the media praising the development’s virtues. Laursen’s main marketing pitch:

“We are offering a rare opportunity for local businesses to purchase high-end, funky, office and retail strata space in the Yaletown of Kelowna”.

PC Urban’s CEO, Brent Sawchyn is on board with Laursen’s Yaletown comparison. “It’s not quite in the core of the town per se. It’s very similar to what you see here in Vancouver, in Gastown and Yaletown. They’re just some unique older places that provide a different awareness and a different vibe for

 
KelRe

More Westcorp Excuses

Gail Temple of Westcorp sat down for another interview with Kent Molgat of Kelowna Now

Earlier this week, Gail Temple, Westcorp Vice President of Operations visited local blog Kelowna Now for a third time this year for a sit down interview with Kent Molgat to explain why their massive waterfront hotel/condo tower is being delayed yet again.

In the interview she revealed that she hopes that the sales centre will go up for the 33 storey tower some time next year. There were some other tidbits that she

 
KelRe

The Good, Bad, and the Ugly in Condo World

Promises, promises... where will the Westcorp Hotel/Piggy bank end up?

We certainly had an interesting juxtaposition of developer news this week – on one hand, the team behind the new Glenmore Central condo proposal in North Kelowna markets their complex as a practical and affordable option exclusively to Kelowna residents, and on the other, Edmonton-based Westcorp announces that their 33 storey mixed use residences/hotel by the lake would be

 
KelRe

Mission Group's Bargain Shop Condo Marketing Goes Meta and it's Stupid

Condo marketing is a necessary part of the speculation game, but is this one too on the nose?

Mission Group unveiled their vision for the block of Bernard that was once home to The Bargain Shop. The one acre of land has sat dormant since the store closed in late 2010, and the large block building that is still standing there today has been long overdue for a repurpose.

This week, advertising went up around the deserted building, as did the website for the development, and Mission Group is calling their

 
KelRe

Prospera Place Parking Lot Proposal

City's 30-year arrangement with GSL Group under scrutiny

Vancouver based GSL Group recently submitted a proposal to city council to build two residential towers on the south corner of the Prospera Place parking lot. GSL is the parent company to several businesses that include RG Properties (which owns and operates Prospera Place, and has a 30-year lease with the Kelowna Rockets), Planet Fitness, Boomers Bar & Grill, WHL team Victoria Royals, and online ticketing site, selectyourtickets.com. They also run the Rock the Lake festival here and

 
Spec Tax

The New BC Speculation Tax and the Foreign Buyers Tax

Measures to increase affordability

The BC government introduced measures to increase affordability in Kelowna and West Kelowna’s out-of-province-influenced housing market, and it is not sitting well with some folks. When the province voted out the Liberals in the recent election, you could say one large reason for it was the housing crises that they did little to stem. It is hard to miss the pained concern ringing out from the CMHC (Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation), and international urban affordability reports claiming that

 
KelRe

The Westcorp Hotel Gets its City Council Stamp of Approval

With councillors Charlie Hodge and Ryan Donn voting against

Following an extremely long city council meeting that ended well past midnight this past Tuesday, Westcorp’s plan to build the tallest structure in the city on the former Willow Inn site along Mill Street and Queensway Avenue was approved. The vote was 5-2 in favour, with councillors Charlie Hodge and Ryan Donn voting against, Councillor Maxine DeHart recusing herself (she’s Director of Sales with the Ramada on Hwy 97 and therefore has a conflict of interest), and

 
KelRe

Downtown Kelowna Hotel Proposal Goes Before Council February 20th

Westcorp wants to build a 32 storey mixed use project budgeted at $130 million

In advance of Westcorp’s meeting with city council next month regarding their ambitious and massive hotel project on the waterfront across from Kerry Park, the company made an impromptu visit to the Rotary Centre this week showcasing their plans to the public. What follows is a not a investigative piece, but rather a summation to inform Kelowna residents of the