Morgan: Changing Kelowna short-term pain for long-term gain

Kelowna has announced and already undergone some major changes to help move this city forward.

Our quaint Kelowna retirement community is no more a slow paced orchard city, but instead becoming a rapidly fast growing metropolis.

Recently, Kelowna has announced and already undergone some major changes to help move this city forward and to bring growth into our downtown community.

Yes, the construction has been trying at times, but with the Downtown Community Plan, Kelowna is making leaps and bounds in the right direction.

To help ease the transition for the  downtown business community and help encourage growth, some policies were put into place.

Properties may qualify for exemptions of up to 100 per cent of incremental property taxes and the city offers $200,000 in annual grants to encourage construction on affordable rental housing.

Some incentives that are currently being offered to the downtown community are low development cost charges, a revitalization tax exemption program, rental housing grants, low parking requirements, cash in lieu of parking provisions, a heritage tax incentive program and heritage conservation grants.

For more information on these programs and other Kelowna development inquiries, contact the City of Kelowna at 250-469-8626.

The city also has plans for a public pier on the Okanagan Lake extending about 140 metres offering a viewing platform and seating area and will provide Kelowna with approximately 68 boat slips.

The downtown marina, expected to open with the pier for this summer, will be located off the shore of Kerry Park.

Just recently,  Kelowna council heard for the third time the Monaco development plan for the corner of St. Paul Street and Doyle Avenue.

The Monaco development towers will consist of 161 residential units, 128 hotel suites and 3,000 square metres of commercial space. This development is inching closer from the planning stages to manifesting realty.

“When you look at what the overall plan delivers—it’s a new hotel for downtown which is another very important priority for council—and new residents living right downtown with retail all around it. That’s really the future of our downtown and we need to see this type of development go forward,”said Kelowna Coun. Luke Stack.

Kelowna has been embracing the change to the city and future development. While as much as change can be challenging, it also brings jobs to our community, tourists and stimulates real estate activity.

Kelowna offers stunning natural surroundings with soaring mountain tops, an upbeat downtown core, outstanding citizens and the best of both worlds, city to country.