New building approved to complete controversial Kelowna development

After nearly 20 years, it appears the Conservatory will finally be completed—albeit a scaled down version of what was originally proposed.

An artist's rendition of the new building at the Conservatory (foreground) at Glenmore Drive and Summit Drive in Kelowna.

Nearly 20 years after it was first proposed as the city’s tallest building, a scaled down version of the Conservatory residential project at the corner of Glenmore Drive and Sumitt Drive appears ready to be completed.

Kelowna city council has approved a plan to build an L-shaped four-storey building to be connected to the existing six-storey building that currently sits on the site.

Meanwhile, construction is continuing on a small commercial plaza on adjacent land at the same corner. The land was once part of the Conservatory’s plan.

The Conservatory was slated to be a highrise condominium tower but the project fell into financial difficulties before it could get off the ground in the late 1990s.

Despite owner after owner trying to resurrect the project, it wasn’t until a few years ago that the existing six-story building was built.

After sitting as a vacant site with a huge hole in the ground for many years, the project was brought back to life when the latest developer succeed in building the existing building.

The new four-storey building, with two lower levels of underground parking, will be rental units say city staff.

Councillors cheered the plans for the development, saying it was a long time in coming and would finally complete what for years was an eyesore prior to the existing building being build. Since then it has appeared to be an unfinished project.