The Mission Group has submitted a development plan for two towers that will add new height to Kelowna’s main drag.
The development permit application is for a 13-storey Class A commercial office tower and 33-storey residential tower at the site of the old downtown Bargain Shop, which they named the Bernard Block. The buildings would be on the 500 block of Bernard Avenue between St. Paul and Bertram Street, adjacent to the 25-storey Brooklyn at Bernard Block tower that was approved by City council in August 2018.
If approved the new residential tower with 217 homes will be among the tallest in the city. Currently the 27-storey Skye at Waterscapes holds the title, though it will soon be dwarfed by the 36 storey tower of One Water Street, which is under construction.
Mission Group said the commercial office tower is positioned to attract premier tenants to Kelowna. It will contain approximately 80,000 square feet of office space, supported by over 18,000 square feet of Bernard Avenue storefront retail.
“Bernard Block is set to become a cornerstone and gateway to our evolving city centre,” said Lisa Lock, vice president, development, Mission Group, in a press release.
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“With excitement and energy building through the tech industry and entrepreneurship, the downtown core has become a sought-after destination for business and residents alike. Companies of all sizes are attracted by the amenities that only downtown can offer and we are excited to bring Class A office space into the historic Bernard District.”
With the permitting process now underway, Mission Group will seek approvals from council later this year. Construction of the office tower is planned for early 2020, with completion and tenant possession projected for late 2021.
The latest tower applications continue the trend in Kelowna development.
City planner Ryan Smith said in a previous interview that while single-family homes used to dominate the Kelowna landscape, things have changed.
“I think the (housing) discussion is changing in the community,” said Smith
“There is a unique momentum in Kelowna’s growth right now,” he added. “It’s exciting to see.”
As of November, city has identified 10 different sites around the downtown alone where high rise buildings are either being built, planned or envisioned as a possibility in the future.
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