There will be a public open house on Saturday to display plans for a new marina and a public pier in downtown Kelowna. The open house will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. at Kerry Park.
The project is designed to include:
• A public pier, over 6 metres wide, extending 150 metres out into Okanagan Lake.
• Moorage slips for approximately 68 boats, including 27 for hourly and day-use moorage, 30 for temporary overnight moorage and 11 for rental boat moorage.
• A boat and watercraft rental business and marine fueling station, operated by Eldorado Marina.
• The existing commercial tour boats will be relocated from the foot of Bernard Avenue to a new and improved facility at the foot of Queensway Avenue.
The project is being led by Westcorp Inc., a property development, investment and management company based in Edmonton, Calgary and Kelowna, and has the endorsement of city council.
With most of the city’s capital funding for the next 10 years already allocated to other initiatives, council viewed partnering with the private sector for this project as a viable means to provide a much-desired public amenity in a cost effective manner.
In 2011, the City of Kelowna issued a request for proposals for the project. Proponents were invited to submit designs and business proposals to design, build, operate and maintain the facility for 15 years.
The project is being built to help meet the demand for temporary moorage in downtown Kelowna in a way that benefits the boating public, the public at large and downtown business.
The estimated total capital cost of the project is over $4 million, almost all of which is being funded by Westcorp. The city is contributing $200,000. In exchange for its investment in the development and operation of the project, Westcorp will collect revenue from boat moorage and operate the pier and marina for 15 years, with a mutual option to renew for an additional five years. There will be no cost to the walking public for use of the pier.
In addition to its functional and aesthetic objectives, the project must also meet local, provincial and federal approvals regarding the environment, navigation, construction and safety.
Following the open house, Westcorp and their team of consultants and builders will finalize plans for the project and submit them to the various approving agencies that have jurisdiction over the project.
Construction is scheduled to start in late 2012 or early 2013. The the new pier and marina is scheduled to be opened by May 2013.