Kelowna council likes new shopping centre proposal

The small enclosed strip mall planned for Glenmore Road and Summit drive is slated for the long-vacant Conservatory property.

A planned new shopping development slated for the corner of Glenmore Road and Summit Drive in Kelowna has received an enthusiastic thumbs up from city council.

The 22,000-square-foot development, to consist of five one-storey buildings and parking along an internal road, with several pedestrian access points and an “inviting” main entrance/plaza on the busy corner, will be built on land adjacent to the Conservatory residential building.

Coun. Luke Stack said while the original plans for the corner did not include such a prominent commercial space, he welcomed the change, describing the plaza as “lovely” and calling the entire development a “complement to the Glenmore Valley.”

His comments were echoed by Coun. Charlie Hodge, who noted the long history of inactivity on the Conservatory site prior to the residential building finally being built a few years ago.

“I’m just glad to see something finally being built there after all this time,” said Hodge.

He did, however, question what he felt was a lack of greenery planned for the retail development.

The Conservatory, once billed as a building that would be the tallest in the city—one that originally touted a multi-storey indoor waterfall, a virtual indoor jungle of plants and hundreds of residential suites—took years to be built and in the end was a much scaled-down version of the original plan.

After several failed attempts to get the project built by various developers, and the site sitting vacant for years, the smaller residential building was constructed. As a result, a large part of the property was left vacant.

The shopping centre will be built on part of the vacant land with another residential building planned for the space between the stores and the existing Conservatory building.

The plan for the new retail development, to be known as Hillside Plaza, will go to a public hearing Oct. 20.