One Water Street is just one of many high rise developments planned for Kelowna in the coming years.—Image: contributed

Kelowna named top city for real estate investment

Western Investor places city at the top of its list of West Canadian cities to invest in next year

Kelowna has been named the top city in Western Canada for real estate investment.

Western Investor, Western Canada’s largest commercial real estate newspaper, put Kelowna at the top of its list heading into 2018, citing the fact the city has seen starts on more home construction this year than any area outside the Lower Mainland, including Greater Victoria which is three times its size.

Currently there are more than 1,900 multi-family residential units under construction, or in the planning stages, within one kilometre of Kelowna’s downtown waterfront.

Land assembly of detached lots near downtown, courtesy of a January zoning change that encourages higher density, is a positive the paper points to in recommending the city to investors.

It also says retail property, particularly for developers of badly needed new retail space in the downtown zone, would also be a good investment.

Lauded for having one of the most temperate climates in Canada and a fertile land base, the report report says there are a rich array of ski resorts in the area, many vineyards within city limits and lakeside attractions.

“The city is major tourism destination and a beacon for new residents—many from the Vancouver area—drawn by it’s recreational amenities and relatively affordable housing,” says Western Investor.

Following Kelowna on the list is Surrey, Saskatoon, Calgary and Lethbridge.

In Kelowna’s case, in recent months there have been a number of residential high-rise buildings either started or announced, especially in the downtown area.

They include the proposed 20-storey Ella building at Ellis Street and Lawrence Avenue, the 21-storey 1151 Sunset Drive tower currently under construction in the North End and the planned twin-dower development, One Water Street, next door. It will feature one mixed-use residential tower of 36 storeys and another of 29 storeys.

In addition, Westcorp has plans to build 32-storey hotel at the foot of Queensway.

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