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Interior Health and Kelowna partner for downtown move
Kelowna’s City Council will review a downtown revitalization project that could result in the municipality and the health authority working together to move a number of Interior Health’s community services and programs onto Doyle Avenue.
“It’s a great example of two levels of government coming together to serve Kelowna residents,” said Doug Gilchrist, the City of Kelowna’s General Manager of Corporate Sustainability.
“The City can spark downtown development by providing land for purchase to Interior Health. This will bring nearly 1,000 people into the area, riding transit, supporting businesses and possibly choosing to live in the neighbourhood. The project provides long term benefits for the downtown as a whole and is supported in the City’s Official Community Plan and the Downtown Plan.”
The project also meets Interior Health’s desire to co-locate their community services and programs in one building in Kelowna, providing better service for clients and patients.
“Providing multiple services in one location will enable better clinical consultation between care teams and better coordination between support services,” said Donna Lommer, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Residential Services for Interior Health. “The result is better for our clients and employees.”
When the City and Interior Health started investigating this opportunity, they established a list of criteria that would make the project a success. Some of the criteria included cost, timing, location, parking and transit accessibility. In the end, it was identified that the best solution was for the City to sell 1.2 acres of land along Doyle Avenue between Ellis Street and St. Paul Street to Interior Health.
The City and Interior Health have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), declaring their intention to work together on the project and outlining project expectations.
The MOU will see the City of Kelowna:
- Sell 1.2 acres of land to Interior Health for $2.75 million.
- Undertake an Alternative Approval Process for a borrowing bylaw for approximately $15 million. Project revenues will offset this borrowing so there is no expected impact on City of Kelowna taxes.
- Construct an addition to the Library parkade on Ellis Street and a new parkade on the south east corner of the Memorial Arena.Relieve the property of 100% of the municipal portion of the property taxes for a period of 10 years through the Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw.
Interior Health will:
- Sell the land to a developer responsible for the costs of developing the project in accordance with City bylaws and including the cost of servicing, site preparation, development cost charges and development applications (with the exception of non-development related electrical work).
- Through a competitive bid process, seek a lease in the building to be constructed on the property with a minimum size of 100,000 square feet.
- Rezone the land from its current designation of C4 and C7 to all C7.
- Lease 410 parking stalls from the City of Kelowna.
The project is subject to final provincial government approvals of land acquisition and sale.
For more information, visit kelowna.ca/council or interiorhealth.ca.