The public will soon get the chance to give input on a rezoning application set to pave the way for a large downtown Kelowna development.
On Monday, Oct. 18, city council voted to give first reading to the rezoning of 350 Doyle Avenue, the site of the former RCMP precinct, sending the matter to a public hearing next month.
Developers have proposed a 13-storey tower for the lot, featuring 11 storeys of rental apartments and two storeys of commercial alongside 6,000 square feet of public amenity space the city has dubbed the “Creative Hub.”
If eventually given final approval, the building would be the first step in the redevelopment of the area the city calls the Civic Precinct. Also planned is an extension to the Art Walk, a new community theatre and the possible redevelopment of the Kelowna Memorial Arena.
Opposition is expected at the public hearing, namely from members of the Legacy Group, a cohort of local business owners who strongly opposed the city’s plan to sell the land back in 2019.
The city didn’t end up selling the land, but rather leased it to Rise Commercial Developments for 99 years, the first 80 of which are being paid in advance at a cost of $7 million, of which the city plans to invest $4.3 million back into the plaza, Art Walk extension and the Creative Hub. The remaining 19 years of rent will be paid to the city at market value.
The public hearing for the rezoning is scheduled for Nov. 16.