Conceptual rendering of Queensway Ave. hotel development (Westcorp Property Management)

Conceptual rendering of Queensway Ave. hotel development (Westcorp Property Management)

Massive hotel proposed for Kelowna waterfront renews development permits

Westcorp Property Management still planning 33-storey hotel at foot of Queensway Ave.

An on-again, off-again 33-storey hotel development proposed for Kelowna’s waterfront could be on again.

Westcorp Property Management has been trying to build the hotel for about the last 10 years at the foot of Queensway Avenue. The most recent development permit application was submitted to city staff on Mar. 24. A previous permit, issued in February 2020, expired last month. A letter from Westcorp to the city states there are no changes to the hotel design that was approved in 2020.

In February 2018, staff recommended against granting a development permit. There were concerns that the “proposal’s overall size, height, and massing would be overwhelming for the property and its unique downtown context.”

The property is close to Kerry Park, Stuart Park, the Sails, and Okanagan Lake. Westcorp made changes to the project, and it came back to council in August of 2018, at which time staff recommended approving development permits. The proposal originally started with 26-storeys, but has been increased to the current 33 over several years.

The start of construction has also been delayed several times, including the redesign, due in part to the implementation of the speculation tax in 2018 and the economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Westcorp’s website, the development will include 175 hotel rooms, 65 residences, a conference centre, retail opportunities on Water Street, and an 18th-floor restaurant.

It could take several weeks or months before the newest development permits are presented to council.

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