The City of Kelowna says it has finalized a deal for land it is selling adjacent to Boyce-Gyro Beach Park in the Mission area of the city.
The land, bought by the city in 2006 for $2.95 million and partially used now as a temporary gravel parking lot for the popular lakeshore beach park, has been sold to local developer Al Stober Construction for the asking price of $4.9 million. Stober plans to build a residential and commercial mixed-use development on the property at 3326 Lakeshore Rd.
According to city hall, multiple offers were made on the parcel, with Stober’s offer not only meeting the asking price but also providing additional benefits for Kelowna residents. As the owner of an adjacent property, the developer will provide land for the extension of Lanfranco Road, with the stipulation construction of the road must begin within three years, said the city.
As part of the deal, the city also agreed to buy back land north of the future road for $500,000 to make it a riparian area green space, adjacent to Fascieux Creek.
“The successful strategic sale of this property to realize a significant return on investment over 10 years furthers the fiscal goals of the city and supports multiple important planning objectives,” said Graham Hood, strategic land development manager.
“With the modification of this lot, we will achieve parking, park and road network improvements while using minimal taxation funding.”
Residential development coupled with commercial space at the ground-floor will contribute to increased vibrancy in the area year round and support the growing town centre, said the city in a news release Wednesday afternoon.
This land, used as a temporary gravel parking lot and partially vacant lot, has already been subdivided to be rezoned to park and residential and commercial uses.
The park parcel adjacent to Boyce-Gyro Beach Park will be retained by the city and built as a permanent, approximately 132-stall parking lot and informal drop-off area for the park.
A new access between the newly divided parcels will allow for the closure of Watt Road at Lakeshore Road. The city says this will improve vehicle access for the park, local residences and the future development site. It will also improve active transportation routes, and safety for park users.
The city also says the sale will also allow it to reclaim space currently being used for parking at the north end of in Boyce-Gyro Park, across from Swordy Road, for recreational use.
The sale of the land was a controversial move for some residents, as they feel it will reduce the amount of parking at what is one of the city’s most popular beach parks, one that attracts large crowds in the summer.