Construction starts at Kelowna’s first downtown residential high-rise

The 20-storey Ella tower, at Lawrence Avenue and Ellis Street, will take 21 months to build

Construction of the first residential high-rise in Kelowna’s downtown core is now officially underway.

A ceremonial shoveling of dirt was performed Tuesday on the site at the corner of Lawrence Avenue and Ellis Street by dignitaries including Jonathan Friesen, CEO of the the Mission Group, the company building the 20-storey Ella tower, Mayor Colin Basran, Downtown Kelowna Association vice-president Yarden Gershony and representatives of several area businesses.

The tower will feature 116 condominiums as well as commercial space on the ground floor. According to Friesen 80 per cent of the condominiums are already sold. The building is expected to be complete in 21 months.

“Today we are proud to celebrate the official start of construction of the first ever concrete high-rise in Kelowna’s Bernard District,” said Friesen.

“We are honoured to break ground alongside owners of local businesses who have helped transform downtown Kelowna into a dynamic and lively destination full of shops, restaurants, and entertainment.”

The Ella tower is the first of what could be several tall buildings in the downtown area, with plans for a 33-storey hotel/condominium tower already approved for the foot of Queensway and plans for a multi-tower development on the former Bargain Store site on Bernard Avenue .

There are several other sites in the immediate downtown area that city hall says have been identified as possible locations of future high-rise towers.

Basran said the growing interest in building up in downtown—there are other towers standing, under construction and planned for the nearby North End—reflects the current condition of the property market in the city, the desirable nature of living downtown and the demand for multi-family housing in the city.

And the towers are changing the Kelowna skyline.

“Ella’s ground-breaking marks the future of urban living in Kelowna,” said Luke Turri, vice-president of development for Mission Group.

The land the Ella tower will sit on was sold to the Mission Group by the city, which Basran said wanted to see a mixed use residential-commercial tower on the property when it has, for several years, been a parking lot.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Just Posted

Okanagan Lake levels stay steady but snowpack is growing: officials

Whether or not the tributaries and creeks flood depends on how suddenly the snowpack begins to melt,

Kelowna council approves rental housing project

Plan for former packinghouse site calls for 148 rental units

Kelowna crew knocks down attic fire in Rutland

No one home at the time as Kelowna Fire Department extinguishes small blaze on Cactus Road

Okanagan realtors add voices to anti-speculation tax coalition

This speculation tax is likely to harm the very people the government is trying to protect

Bolt cutters and bear spray used in Kelowna break-in

“Both suspects were taken into police custody…”

Sunshine and above-average temperatures all week

We can expect to enjoy this warm sunshine all week long

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Penticton robbery trial starts days before accused’s murder trial

Narcotics, cash stolen from pharmacy; accused scheduled for murder trial next week in Abbotsford

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

Toronto songstress shares indie vibes with Okanagan

Emma Cook will rock Penticton’s The Elite April 28 before she hits Vernon’s Record City April 29

B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

River Forecast Centre official says sudden melting further into the season could cause flooding

Student produces gun at Princeton Secondary School

Starter pistol confiscated, RCMP are investigating

Another B.C. First Nation voices support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Simpcw First Nation claims people living on one-third of pipeline route support the project

Most Read