The third time to the table proved the charm for the Monaco development, a two-tower project expected to be a jewel in the downtown core should it see approval.
After being outright rejected by Kelowna city council once, and sent back for another crack at the footprint a second time, the twin glass towers planned for Doyle Avenue and St. Paul Street were finally given the go ahead on Monday to move to public hearing.
“I just wanted to say that I was really pleased that the developer persevered with all of us councillors and staff,” said Coun. Maxine DeHart. “You go into large cities and one of the things I often say is, ‘Wow. What a beautiful building?'”
DeHart and Coun. Luke Stack were among those to point out the beauty of the architecture in question, setting aside the city requirements on height, which have held the project with it’s 22-storey and 30-storey towers back, to point out what a stunning addition the development would be to the city’s core.
“When I look at the actual buildings themselves, I think they are very handsome. They are beautifully designed,” said Stack. “I agree the one is a little big on the one side but, on the other hand, it’s a very attractive building and I think it would look fantastic on our skyline.”
City planner Alec Warrender told council the developer, Premier Pacific Group, has addressed previous concerns about the amount of space surrounding the buildings by purchasing additional land so there is now a 15-foot strip along St. Paul Street that was not originally in the plans.
While the height remains the same, there is now more space surrounding the towers. And, in allowing the higher buildings, the city would see 188 metres squared of ground-floor daycare space, new residential and retail space, restaurants, cafes, and hotel space—all amenities the city is looking for in the area. And the developer has added rental bikes and two electric car charging stations.
Mayor Walter Gray asked that provisions be written into the plans to offer the owner a viable alternative use for the daycare in particular, lest childcare ever go out of fashion.
The development will go to the Tuesday, Apr. 23 public hearing.