Kelowna grants first downtown tax exemption to spur development

Owners of the Streaming Cafe get 50 per cent tax break to build new three-storey building.

The owners of the Kelowna’s Streaming Cafe are the first developers in the city to take advantage of a new tax exemption bylaw designed to encourage what city hall calls “quality” business developments.

Davara Holdings Ltd., owned by Club Penguin co-founder Dave Krysko and his wife, is planning to build a three-storey addition to its existing Streaming Cafe building at the corner of Leon Avenue and Bertram Street downtown and have won city council approval for a 50 per cent municipal tax exemption for the new building for the first 10 years of its existence.

“It’s encouraging to see this tax exemption being used now,” said Mayor Walter Gray. “I hope other property owners look at this option to revitalize the downtown incentive area and in the Rutland urban centre.”

The Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw was amended in 2011 as an incentive for property owners to invest in new projects that energize sections of urban centres. Properties within the two incentive areas can qualify for municipal share tax exemptions on the improvements of up to 100 per cent.

The bylaw applies to an area downtown bounded by Harvey Avenue, Lawrence Avenue, Ellis Street and the laneway behind Abbott Street. The Rutland urban centre incentive area covers a general area along Highway 33 between Rutland Road South and Hollywood Road.

The long-term objective of the agreements is to create places that attract pedestrians, commercial activity and residential development. Along with the commercial and esthetic benefits of energetic city streets, the compact arrangement of residences and businesses encourages more walking and requires less vehicle use. says the city.

While the existing one-story building that the Streaming Cafe is located in will be retained and have a roof garden added, the new three-storey building behind it will include new studio space and offices, as well as a street-level patio.

Fibre-optic cables have already been installed in the Streaming Cafe building in anticipation of the new building, which will feature parking below it, accessed off Bertram and the lane at the back of the site.

The Streaming Cafe currently provides an small live concert space, where performances are broadcast live over the Internet. Currently, the cafe draws audiences both to the downtown Kelowna site and has viewers  around the world tune in via the World Wide Web.

Krysko, along with partners, Lance Priebe and Lane Merrifield, sold Club Penguin, a massively popular multiplayer online role-playing game for children, to The Walt Disney Corporation in August 2007 for $350 million.


Just Posted

Kelowna council defers decision on homeless development

BC Housing is revisiting original plan after concerns from local businesses

3% tax hike proposed in West Kelowna

Proposed provisional budget tax hike in line with recent annual increases in the city

Okanagan robbery suspect sought

RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect in an… Continue reading

11-year-old water quality advisory lifted in Glenmore

Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District says Interior Health gave the green light to lift advisory

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Crook’s Corner

A slice of this week’s arts and entertainment happenings in the North Okanagan at a glance

Six-year-old boy needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Mother of sick Sooke boy asks government to help fund treatments

Environmental groups slam NDP decision to continue with Site C

Construction industry, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic about how the project will look

Be ladder safe both at work and home

WorkSafeBC wants you to keep safe while hanging those Christmas lights this year

B.C. overdose deaths surpass 1,200

96 people died of illicit drug overdoses in October

A classic Christmas play with a Kelowna twist

Scrooge is transported to Kelowna in New Vintage Theatre’s new holiday play, opening Wednesday

Crown appeals stay against Jamie Bacon in Surrey Six killings

B.C.’s prosecution service says judge’s decision reveals ‘errors of law’

Feds agree to give provinces 75 per cent of pot tax revenues

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the agreement today

Attempted murder charge up in the air after victim’s death

Without Thomas Szajko’s testimony, alleged shooter Afshin Ighani could get off on that charge

Most Read