Kelowna finally sells last Central Green land parcels.

With the sale, the long-awaited development of the former KSS is expected to start next year.

The City of Kelowna has finalized a deal for more than $6 million with Al Stober Construction Limited to buy the remaining five parcels of land at the Central Green site and it says development of the site is expected to start next year.

“The city and the community worked together from 2008 to 2011 to create a comprehensive plan for Central Green that would guide its development,” said Mayor Walter Gray. “The properties have been for sale since 2012, but we now have the right market conditions and a local developer that came to the table with an offer that will see the community’s vision for the site unfold.”

Located at Harvey Avenue and Richter Street across from Kelowna Central School, the site is the former home of the old Kelowna Senior Secondary School (KSS).  It is made up of nine parcels of land.

As part of the community planning process, it was established that the site would be a LEED certified neighbourhood using fewer resources, including water and energy.

It was also decided that 15 per cent of the site would be dedicated to affordable housing. The parcels set aside for housing wrap around a two-hectare parcel dedicated for Rowcliffe Community Park. The park is scheduled for construction in 2017.

Al Stober Construction bought the parcels known in the comprehensive development zone (CD22) as areas A, B, C, D and G. The company will begin the development permitting process in the coming months with the intention of constructing rental housing. This purpose-built rental housing meets an identified need for affordable housing and will help to fulfil a shortage of rental homes in the city.

“We are very excited at the opportunity to deliver a top quality residential development for this great location adjacent to Kelowna’s downtown,” said Steve Kumpf, general manager for Al Stober Construction Limited. “Our pedestrian-oriented development plan for Central Green creates a vibrant and livable neighbourhood that includes a large community park and is a quick walk to the beach or downtown’s dining, shopping and central business district.”

Th city  sold areas E and F to Davara Holding for $800,000 in 2013 to build a support centre for the Karis Support Society. The project is currently under development and will include 30 units.

Area H was provided to B.C. Housing and will be operated by the Ki-Lo-Na Friendship Society as an affordable housing development with 86 units.

Area I will be developed as the new Rowcliffe Community Park.