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Public market, brewery and offices to replace fruit co-op in Kelowna
A multi-million dollar public and farmers’ market, brewery and office building complex called Urban Square is planned for the three-hectare former B.C. Tree Fruits Co-operative property on Clement Avenue in Kelowna’s north end.
Developer Gary Tebbutt says they will re-develop industrial land between Ethel and Richter, with the existing tree fruit storage building—that also houses the retail market for the co-op—completely renovated to provide space for a permanent Granville Island-style market and a seasonal farmers’ market.
Plans are to have it in operation within a year.
The .78-hectare Ethel and Clement corner, which has no building on it right now, has been sold to a local family for development of a 5,388-square-metre brewery called Starkhund Brewing Company equipped with state-of-the-art equipment from Germany.
It will be two floors with a tasting room, retail store and patio and will host tours.
The new brewery facility will be built incorporating energy-efficiency, sustainability and recycling wherever possible, said Tebbutt.
It will produce a portfolio of authentic European-style lagers and ales, including seasonal brands. Emphasis will be on top quality products, using the purest ingredients, he said.
The 3,344 square metre historic packinghouse building will be renovated—re-purposed—for a public market.
“Its unique timber construction with 22-foot high ceilings lends itself extremely well to a Public Market,” commented Tebbutt, who grew up in the Okanagan and has lived in Kelowna for the past 24 years.
“This is a significant legacy project; a unique project. It means something to me. I’m excited to be able to bring this vision to fruition to meet a need,” he commented.
The idea came from a member of the BCTF board, who contacted him when the co-op put the property up for sale a year or so ago.
“I took my wife and construction manager and my wife suggested it would make a great public market. We feel Kelowna is ready for this,” he commented.
They envision some permanent shops such as for bee products like honey, along with some seasonal stalls. “We’d like to see an emphasis on local, high-quality, healthy food, crafts and arts,” he said.
Parking will be located in the back of the property, off Vaughn Avenue, across the street from the co-op’s remaining Kelowna packinghouse.
The development will mean an entire three-block redevelopment along Clement Avenue, with a new RCMP detachment planned for property across Richter Street from Urban Square.
Construction of the brewery is expected to begin next spring and begin operations within a year, while the co-op’s retail outlet will continue selling apples until May.
Construction of the four-storey and five-story office buildings—Urban One and Urban Two—at Richter and Clement, will depend on market demand. They will contain about 9,280 square metres of space with retail at street level.