News

Division among business owners on Bernard revitalization

The latest meeting to discuss the revitalization of Bernard Avenue garnered conflicting points of view from area business owners.

“I don’t know that we need revitalization, personally,” said Raegan Hall, owner of Blonde, a Bernard Avenue boutique.

“I think it looks awesome already. I love the small town vibe we have and people who come from Calgary and Vancouver are seeking out that.”

By Hall’s estimates, what’s being set out by the city isn’t significant enough to warrant the overhaul, and worse yet, it will stymie business.

Changes to the city’s parking scheme could reduce stalls by 30 per cent and that, she said, will amount to fewer people coming through her doors.

“I think my business is going to drop in half,” she said. “Kelowna is a driving town and people are coming from Mission, or Westbank and if they don’t have parking, I’m going to lose business.”

The plan puts an emphasis on wider sidewalks, and more foliage to give the main strip a more walkable feel, which some found value in.

Among those who are enthusiastic to see how the changes will roll out was Mike Bronswyk, co-owner of the Bread Company.

“I love it, I think this is going to be fantastic when they complete it,” he said.

“I am excited when I look at the plans. Right now a lot of people use it to drive to other streets, but now they will have to park, and walk down to Bernard as a destination.”

By his estimates, investment in improving the walkability of the area, that has in the past been maligned for being dingy and dark, is well worth it, and the city’s moving in the right direction.

“Big picture-wise, they’re on the right track,” he said.

The consultation for Bernard revitalization has been ongoing for over a year, and in that time business owners and community members have weighed in on everything from the price of upgrades to their wishlist for amenities.

The aesthetic upgrade is tied to a mandatory utility upgrade.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

ICBC frauds include fires, faked thefts
 
Green MLA Weaver to seek leadership
 
Furlong seeks to dismiss sexual-abuse lawsuit
Kelowna city councillor admitted to hospital
 
Lake Country Food Bank project wins $100,000 contest
 
OC students win international accounting case competition
Women well represented as Liberal candidates in upcoming federal election in the Okanagan
 
1st attempt to lift fuselage of crashed AirAsia plane fails
 
Kelowna council supports eating disorder awareness campaign

Community Events, January 2015

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jan 28 edition online now. Browse the archives.