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Site chosen for new West Kelowna municipal hall
West Kelowna council has chosen a preferred site for the development of a municipal hall/civic centre at 3641 Elliott Road.
The district will now enter into negotiations for a possible contract with New Town/Sturgess Group regarding its proposed development at the site.
Preliminary estimates have placed the cost of the development of the municipal hall/civic centre at $8.9 million, including the land, and the municipality would own the building and the land it sits on when the project is complete. Additional funds will be required for project contingency.
The district anticipates the cost to build the municipal hall can be assumed within the municipality's current budget without any additional tax burden on residents over what is the current 10-year financial plan.
The district is also actively seeking funding opportunities, partnerships with other governmental agencies and leasing opportunities to offset the costs of this project.
Mayor Doug Findlater announced Tuesday West Kelowna council had selected New Town/Sturgess Group out of the four proponents invited to submit proposals in January.
The three unsuccessful proponents will be given a $25,000 honorarium for their submissions. The honorarium ensured the district received quality submissions; the municipality now owns the intellectual property associated with those.
Findlater said council was extremely pleased with the quality and initiative shown by the four selected proponents who participated in the conceptual design request for proposal phase of the project.
"The response we received from the four proponents was exceptional, with a great deal of effort and attention put into the submissions," said Findlater.
"We truly had some exciting opportunities to consider and engaged in detailed debate on the merits of all the submissions.
"The process itself has resulted in an excellent option for the development of a municipal hall, and more importantly, the potential for economic revitalization of West Kelowna, council's key priority since incorporation."
The conceptual design proposal presented for 3641 Elliott Road calls for a two-phased approach.
The first phase includes:
- A 24,015-square-foot municipal hall, owned by the district
- The option to include 7,000 square feet of expansion or lease space in the municipal hall
- One residential building, owned by the developer
- A public plaza, owned by the developer
- One office building with a commercial component on the lower level, owned by the developer
- A cafe plaza near the commercial area, owned by the developer
- Underground and above ground parking. Municipal parking will be owned by the district.
The second phase would include a second residential building, built when the market justifies a second building.
The area where the second building would be built would be landscaped in phase one and incorporated into the public plaza until the time of phase two construction.
West Kelowna residents will be asked to indicate their support for the potential borrowing of funds to complete the project, through either an alternate approval process before the November municipal election or a referendum in conjunction with the election.
"We believe that this proposal meets our needs for municipal operations, and will also provide a kick start to the economic activity West Kelowna needs."
Findlater cautioned there are many steps still to be taken before any shovels hit the ground.
"There's still a long way to go, but I know I speak for all council when I say we are very glad to be at a point where we know where we want our civic centre to be and are seeing the vision of this project come to life.
"We will be engaging the public in more than just the financial considerations. We will want to hear what residents think at many stages in the process and there will be opportunities for consultation."