Kelowna shares its big ideas for the Bargain Shop

Wacky, wild and mostly practical — Kelowna weighs in on replacing the Bargain Shop.

The big derelict building that was once home to Woolworths department store and later to the Bargain Shop is a bit of a white elephant on Kelowna’s main drag.

The model of retail that it represents is increasingly untenable, which is likely the reason the shop closed its doors seven years ago.

Many expectations about what it could morph into have been floated out in the years since then, but nothing has happened…until now.

The Mission Group announced they bought the Bernard Avenue property this week and brought a bit of renewed hope to downtown dwellers. They say they’re not sure what they’re going to do with the property that includes six legal titles, but it’s clear they have the space for a little creativity.

RELATED: BUILDING OF PRIME INTEREST

The property covers an entire city block in downtown Kelowna, and features 333 feet of frontage on Bernard Avenue.

Mission Group vice-president of development Luke Turri has said the property is really a great, blank canvas that will shape the downtown of the future.

What that means remains to be seen, so we asked the people who it will affect most directly—the people who spend their time on Bernard Avenue.

RELATED: MISSION GROUP’S BIG PLANS

Here’s what they had to say:

“I think it should be a high-rise condo building that blocks the sun out with retail on the ground floor. Higher condo buildings mean more people downtown and that’s better for the local economy.” — Chris Shaften, Krafty Kitchen + Bar

“Maybe like a whole foods would be cool. Something to bring everyone downtown, with condos or something on top to give everyone more housing.” — Chantelle Koutsanis, Mad Mango

“A ‘70s funplex, with a roller rink, bowling alley, disco dance area and fun place for the kids. (Or) more added retail that supports independent, local businesses and housing.” — Lori Sellen, HITZ Boutique

“I’d like to see a multi family tower with commercial on the ground floor.” —Forrest Klotzbach

“Something that is part residential, part business …maybe some office spaces, smaller ones. It’s always good to keep customers close to where there will be business.” — Healther Zais

“Dinner and a live show place.” — Alonso Sandoval

“Maybe an arcade.” — Brandon Belanger

“A hotel .. why not? I used to work in the hotel business and we always need more hotels.” —Ken Hamilton

“Maybe something that’s not chain related. We have a lot of chains here. It would be cool to have … a local farmers market in there or something.” — Emma Lafontaine

RELATED: BARGAIN STORE SOLD

Also, in case the folks at the Mission Group need a little more inspiration our Facebook following came through as well. Here’s what they had to say:

Darlene Terada: A year round public market like Granville Market in Vancouver.

Doug Mehus: 16-20 store mixed use residential/commercial building, ideally with some purpose built rental apartments, namely market rate but a few affordable housing. This would allow the City to repurpose the former Kelowna RCMP detachment as a social housing development! 🙂

Suzan Miles: GAWD! No more condos! Like we need more traffic downtown. A year round market, or an Olive Garden/ Red Lobster. Been waiting decades for my fave restaurants to get here

James Boyle: It’s shame that we don’t get a choice in the matter. What will be happening is downtown will go through a growth spurt, much like Vancouver and we will see these massive buildings that don’t really belong. We’ve already got our own east Hastings (Leon) and Stanley Park (City Park). All I can hope is that they will keep some green space and not make a townhouse development on every block!

Dave Gibson: Tear it all down and build something new for a change. Kelowna is stuck in a very boring period of time and needs to advance with the rest of the world.

Joshua Crawley: My vote goes for an Ikea, the indoor market idea, or a room with paddled walls where you can wear a straight jacket and act like a crazy person by bouncing off the walls and screaming in response to the high priced houses I will never be able to afford, especially with the lack of decent, high paying jobs out there. But yeah, an Ikea would be cool.

Heather Tite: Before you know it. City Council will approve a monorail to be built throughout all of Kelowna to get around faster and have less traffic, but no, they are not smart enough to ever think of that are they!!!

Jean-Anne Hawse: Condos, to keep persons shopping downtown. As you can’t park down there hardly, more walkers could benefit the businesses.

Harry Manak: 3D Imax state if the art multi use entertainment use facility high end convention center with theatres and cinemas

Stewart Drefko: “A parkade” with the dwindling parking space in Kelowna I think it would be a good idea looking in to the future

R Nathaniel Daggett: Year round indoor public market and garage sale booths

Heather Fehr: Almost anything would be better than the current eyesore

Craig Musgrove: Heliport… Or NASA launch pad… Or a zoo… Or a driving range.

Marty McLeod: A massive tower with no parking like they have been

Barb Leyes: Some kind of housing ..apartment / hotel / condo

Beth Shey: Highrise with bachelor and small 1 bdrm rentals….NOT HIGH END! with parking on the bottom!

Max Rae: Homeless shelter and drug treatment centre

Lucy Harper: A place for homeless to go too…sleep eat …got kitchen in there already

Doris Giesbrecht: Anything that will clean up that corner

Cally Callaghan: Roller rink!

Craig Erika Colburn: 50 storey tower

Nathalie Nessie Rancourt: Rollerskating rink!

Just Posted

Police searching for GoPro owner

Police are looking for the owner of a GoPro seized by police in Kelowna

RCMP search for knife-wielding robber

Police in Kelowna release store surveillance images of an aggressive shoplifting suspect

Kelowna offers money for youth engagement

City looking for ideas from young people to improve city neighbourhoods

Men’s group hands out another $10,000 to community

Kelowna community group 100 Men+ Give A Damn raises money for organizations in need

Central Okanagan needs to develop shared vision when it involves mental health

A Lake Country resident presented her project about mental health and substance use

Tattooing couple opens new shop in Lake Country

Cody and Fabiana Philpott opened NSI Tattoo in August

Lake Country bridge club supports those in need

Lake Country club challenges others to also donate money to the community

Stiff fine for B.C. man caught trafficking bear parts

A Cache Creek resident was charged after an undercover sting operation by conservation officers

Big White to open with three chairlifts

Tickets are 50 per cent off for opening day

One person sent to hospital after fire near Keremeos

Fire ripped through a shed and Winnebego at Sunkatchers RV Park Co-operative

Vandals pour fake blood on statues at B.C. church

Church members concerned about string of acts of vandalism and possible escalation

Cougar judged risk to public shot and killed in Clearwater

Animal was seen prowling through a subdivision, had killed a house cat

Curtis Sagmoen to appear in Vernon court

The man associated with an Silver Creek farm where human remains were found last month is set to appear in court

Vernon high school theatre reignites classic pirate tale

Seaton Secondary’s 27th Street Theatre Co. presents The Pirates of Penzance Dec. 5-9 and 12-16.

Most Read