(Left to right) Leonard Kerkhoff of Kerkhoff Construction, Henry Bereznicki and Russ Watson of North American Development Group with a model of the planed One Water Street development slated for Kelowna’s downtown.—Image credit: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Kelowna’s tall tower developers say they’re ready to go

Sales of condominiums at the 36-storey One Water Street tower will start Sept. 22.

The developers of what will be Kelowna’s tallest two buildings, say they are ready to go with the One Water Street project now that city council has given them the green light to build the 36- and 29-storey residential towers.

The project, to be built on a large site opposite Prospera Place in downtown Kelowna, will feature 404 residential units—made up mainly of condominiums in the two towers but also 18 townhouses that will open onto a 1.3-acre open-air, green space on the roof a three-story “podium” structure.That structure will house the development’s parkade and ground-floor commercial space.

Russ Watson of the North American Development Group, which together with its partner Kerkhoff Construction are the developers of the $250 million project, said if everything goes according to plan, construction of the first tower will start later this year. Construction of the first phase would take 2.5 years and the total build out would take four years, he said.

As part of the construction of the first tower—the 36-storey building—the majority of the podium base structure, along with most of the amenities—swimming pools, sports courts, green space, barbecue pits and even a dog park and an inside public daycare centre—will be built.

Watson, who plans to live in the complex, said he is determined to find a grocery story to fill part of the commercial space that will front Ellis and Water Street, as well as part of Sunset Drive. That, he said, will benefit the entire neighbourhood which already has several high rise condominium buildings.

Sales of the 221 units in the first tower will start Sept. 29 and officials with the project say there has already been an “extraordinary” 4,000 inquiries about buying units in the project.

According to information provided by the developers, suites will range in price from $289,900 for a 442-square foot studio condo on a lower floor to $759,900 for a 1,408-square foot, three-bedroom unit on a higher floor. The townhouses will sell for $834,900 and the sub-penthouses on the 33rd to 35th floors are listed at $1,699 million.

Watson said the aim is to attract owner-occupants, but if buyers do decide to rent out their units, the minimum rental period will be one-month. Other high-rises in the city have seen owners either rent suits out on a shorter-term basis or leave them vacant for long lengths of time.

On Monday, council approved the variance that will allow the developer to build the two towers 10 and three stories higher than currently allowed in the area, which is one block from Waterfront Park and the shore of Okanagan Lake.

In doing so, council was effusive in its praise for the development.

On Tuesday, Watson said he had never heard a municipal council praise a development as much as members of Kelowna council did for One Water Street. Even Charlie Hodge, the one councillor who opposed the project—based on the proposed height— called the project “world class.”

Only two people showed up to tell council they opposed the project and the city clerk said only two letters objecting the development were received by city hall.