1448 Bertram Street (City of Kelowna)

1448 Bertram Street (City of Kelowna)

City gives two Kelowna developments ten-year tax holiday

‘That’s a big amount of money, but it’s also a massive project that’s come to our downtown’

The City of Kelowna is entering into tax exemption agreements for two building developments that will equal more than $7.8 million dollars over the next 10 years.

The Revitalization Tax Exemption (RTE) program encourages new residential and commercial development and construction of purpose-built rental housing in the core area of the city. Eligible projects can apply for a 10-year tax exemption. This includes a requirement to enter into a Housing Agreement (HA) for purpose-built rental housing projects. The properties are located at 1488 Bertram Street and 1994 Springfield Road.

Bertram Street is a mixed-use project with two towers. One 28-storey building with 257 residential units, and an eleven-storey building with 88,422 square feet of office space, 15,346 square feet of ground-floor retail space, and a five-level parkade. Construction is underway on this project. The Springfield Road development is a purpose-built rental building with 195 dwelling units, 1,280 square feet of commercial space, and a single-level parkade. The city requires an HA for this project. A building permit application has been made and a review is in progress.

1994 Springfield Road (City of Kelowna)

1994 Springfield Road (City of Kelowna)

A city staff report anticipates the tax revenue impact of the proposed exemption is $6,239,000 for the Bertram Street project and $1,642,500 for the Springfield Road development.

“That’s a big amount of money, but it’s also a massive project (Bertram Street) that’s come to our downtown,” said Councillor Luke Stack.

Councillor Gail Given questioned if the city still needs to incentivize development in the downtown core, and suggested affordable housing could be more of a focus.

“We certainly achieved the goal of encouraging development in some of the areas in our community,” said. Given. “Rutland Town Center has been slower on the uptake than maybe downtown, but I think there isn’t anybody here who wouldn’t say truly our greatest need is affordable housing.”

City staff will evaluate the RTE program to consider tax impacts, and take account of where incentives are actually needed and where impact can be most effective. A report will be brought forward to council later this year.

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@GaryBarnes109
gary.barnes@kelownacapnews.com

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City CouncilCity of KelownaHousingRentalstaxes