Kelowna city council has taken the next step in trying to help alleviate the chronic shortage of rental accommodation in the city.
On Monday, council approved a development permit for a proposed 280-unit rental housing complex, slated for land off KLO Road adjacent to Immaculata Secondary School.
The six-building complex will consist of three four-storey apartment buildings, two three-storey stacked townhouse buildings and a community amenity building. The amenity building will shield the at-grade parking lot from view on KLO Road. More parking will be provided underground at the site.
The apartment buildings will each contain 80 units — 25 one-bedroom suites and 55 two-bedroom suits — and have one level of underground parking with 60 vehicle stalls and 66 storage spaces for bicycles. The 40 townhouses will be one-bedroom and three-bedroom units.
Council welcomed the addition of the development in the city, noting the current low vacancy rate for rentals and need for larger rental units for families.
The location, near the South Pandosy town centre, is supported by amenities such as parks, schools and an active transportation bike lane, as well as transit.
Planner Terry Barton said the proposal was supported by city staff, especially in light of the city’s 0.7 per cent vacancy rate. That rate has dropped from one per cent three years ago.
“Therefore, the increase in the number of rental units will benefit the Kelowna housing market,” said the staff report to council. “Specifically, this project proposes to add 75 one-bedroom units, 165 two-bedroom units, 20 one-bedroom townhouse units (and) 20 three-bedroom townhouse units.”
The old single family home on the site—directly across from the Central Okanagan Regional District office—has been demolished to make way for the new rental housing development.
The land is already zoned to allow for the development.
Council was told the developer plans to build the entire complex in one phase, meaning all the units will come onto the market at the same time, likely within the next year or two.