The base of the planned Brooklyn tower at the corner of Bernard Avenue and St. Paul Street in Kelowna. —Image: contributed

Kelowna’s downtown residential tower getting taller

Council approves a variance to allow the planned Brooklyn tower to rise to a height of 26 storeys

The first high-rise to tower over Kelowna’s main downtown street will be taller than the current city rules allow.

On Tuesday night, Kelowna city council approved a variance for the developer of the Brooklyn, the Mission Group, to surpass the 19-storey limit in place for the site at the corner of Bernard Avenue and St. Paul Street. It will allow for a 26-storey tower on the site.

The allowance marks the final bureaucratic hurdle for the project and the Mission Group said Wednesday morning it will start sales of the planned 178 residential units in mid to late September.

The company says the tower will be the first of three planned for the site of the former Bargain Shop and the project will be built in phases. Detail of the plans for the additional towers have yet to be released.

The height variance was approved after the city’s planning department praised the design of the top three floors of the Brooklyn and the roof line, saying they met the city’s objective of avoiding “chopped off” flat roofed buildings.

Related: Height variance sought for tower on Kelowna’s main downtown street

It said it feels the tower will make a “positive contribution” to the city’s skyline.

When completed, the building will be the fifth tallest in the city after the two One Water Street towers currently under construction in the North End, the existing Skye at Waterscapes tower on Sunset Drive and the Landmark 6 building across the highway from the Parkinson Recreation Centre.

Westcorp’s planned 33-story hotel planned for foot of Queensway would surpass the taller of the two One Water Street towers—planned to be a 36-storey building—in total height.

Earlier this week, council approved some minor interior changes to the hotel plan and the developer says it still plans to move ahead with the project, but no specific date to start construction has been announced. It has been on hold while the company figures out the ramifications on the project of the provinces new speculation tax.

The hotel tower will include 40 condominiums, which Westcorp said are crucial to the financial viability of the project.

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