Kelowna tall towers proposal headed to public hearing

Development at Water Street and Sunset Drive would include two towers of 29 and 36 storeys.

A rezoning that could lead to construction of what would be the two tallest buildings in Kelowna is headed to a public hearing.

City council made the decision Monday after hearing from its planning department. The project includes two residential towers—one 36 storeys high and the other 29 storeys high—at the corner of Water Street and Sunset Drive downtown.

The $220 million mixed use development, known as One Water Street, would also include street level commercial space in a large three-storey “podium” building on which the towers would stand.

While council was in favour of sending the rezoning proposal to a public hearing, it was made clear by city planners and councillors alike that the question of height has yet to be addressed.

That will be considered, if the land is rezoned, as part of a major variance because the proposed rezoning only allows for a maximum height of 24 storeys.

Currently, the tallest building in the city sits just north of the One Water Street site. The residential tower known as Waterscapes is 26 storeys tall.

The developer, North American Development Group, held a public open house last week to unveil its plans to the public and representatives of the project said the towers were designed to be thinner that normal in order to preserve view corridors.

Coun. Luke Stack said he is not as concerned with height as he is with the preservation of those view corridors and the interface with the podium building.

The podium building is slated to contain the commercial units, as well as townhouses and green space on its roof.

Mayor Colin Basran called the decision to send the rezoning application to a public hearing “an exciting first step” in the development of a piece of land that has sat vacant for years in a very high profile location.

The site sits across the road from the Prospera Place arena.

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