High-rise proposals shelved for now

Developers behind Central Green neighbourhood don't see a market for residential towers in Kelowna at this time.

The lowdown on Kelowna’s showpiece Central Green development is that it won’t be getting highrises—at least not right away.

Plans to build three residential towers on the site as part of its redevelopment have been shelved in favour of low-level condominiums buildings.

New plans for the site call for three, four-storey, wood-frame condominium buildings first for the site, farther back from Harvey Avenue, adjacent to a planned new large park slated on the property.

The original concept for Central Green called for three highrises, ranging from between 12- to 18-storeys along the Harvey Avenue side of the site.

The towers, if built, would contain apartment units.

The reworked plan for the portion of Central Green bought by Kelowna developer Al Stober Construction—now working in partnership with another large local developer, Mission Group Homes—is expected to be presented to the public and city council before the end of September.

Jonathan Friesen, chief executive officer of the Mission Group, said Thursday his company will build the low-level, condominium buildings while Stober will deal with the highrise towers, possibly at a later date.

Central Green, the 13-acre former home of the Kelowna Secondary School, is located at Richter Street and Harvey Avenue and is currently under development on parcels owned by several different companies.

Last week, the first building on the site opened at the southwest corner, the new 36-unit KARIS Support Society facility for women dealing with mental health and addiction issues.

Another social housing project, an 86-unit building to be run by the Ki-low-na Friendship Society, is currently under construction at the northwest corner. It has an expected opening of mid-2016.

Earlier this week, Stober announced it is working with the Mission Group on the large portion of the site it bought for $6 million in 2014.

In a news release, Friesen said his company was excited to be part of what he called “the inspired green living” that the overall Central Green plan calls for.

The new five-acre Rowcliffe Park that is slated for the back of the site will be built by the city along Rowcliffe Avenue starting in 2017.

Friesen said there was no appetite from either the city nor area residents for highrises overlooking the park.

Central Green is slated to be Kelowna’s first community certified in Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

This LEED-certified neighbourhood will combine green building practices with smart growth principles such as development density, proximity to transit, land-use, and multi-modal transportation.

Located close to downtown, as well as near other key city sites such as Kelowna General Hospital, Central Green has long been touted for its development potential.

Friesen said unlike when a company builds a single building, for this project his firm will have direct input on aspects of the overall development, something he said is very exciting for them.

While the Mission Group has built a lot of housing developments in the city, it does not build highrises.

On the other hand, Al Stober Construction does, and is the firm perhaps best known for building the Landmark campus of highrises along Harvey Avenue across from the Parkinson Recreation Centre.

Just Posted

It’s beetle season in Lake Country

Box elder beetles are coming out from the warmth of the tree roots

Accident reported at Hwy 97C exit

Police was searching a nearby field but left after 30 minutes

Get rid of the kids for spring break

Check out the Okanagan Heritage Museum and Kelowna Art Gallery

Truck destroyed by fire in West Kelowna

A fire destroyed a truck at Wheel’s Truck Parts Friday

Central Okanagan MLAs plan public meeting on new B.C. taxes

Speculation Tax and Employer Health Tax will be the subject of panel discussion in Kelowna March 25

What’s happening

Find out what events are taking place this weekend in the Okanagan and Shuswap

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Correction: Museum fashion tour to be held Saturday

A mistake was in Wednesday’s edition of the newspaper incorrectly stating a different day

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

Most Read