A proposal to build a public market and a open-air farmers market at the corner of Springfield Road and Benvoulin Road, as well as a new commercial centre across the street, will go to a public hearing Jan. 24 if the developer acts quickly to get their paper work to city staff for review.
The current Kelowna city council, at its last public meeting, gave the proposed project the initial greenlight in letting the request for a community plan amendment to allow the proposal go to pubic hearing if the paperwork in submitted by Dec. 9.
The proposed enclosed year-round market, to be modelled after Vancouver’s Granville Island Public Market, would be located across Springfield Road from the site of the current seasonal outdoor farmers’ market in Kelowna. The site would include space for a seasonal outdoor farmers’ and crafters’ market as well.
Backing onto Mission Creek — which would be separated from the market site by a buffer of trees— the land is in the Agricultural Land Reserve but the project is expected to be approved by the Agricultural Land Commission because of its agri-business and agri-tourism potential.
Across Benvoulin Road, at the same intersection, a new commercial centre is also planned as part of the same overall development.
Shown as an “urban lifestyle centre” on maps presented to council Monday, the development would include retail and professional offices. No residential component is included.
That disappointed Coun. Robert Hobson, who also expressed concern that its creation would simply lure already established businesses away from elsewhere in the area.
But city staff said the reasoning for no residential on the site, given the developer, is that there is already quite a bit of residential development in the area and no more is needed there.
Concept plans show several two-storey buildings on the commercial centre site as well as a seven-storey tower.
The developments, dubbed Mission Crossing East and West, would see the enclosed and open public market areas on one side of Benvoulin Road at Springfield Road, and the urban lifestyle centre on the other, across Springfield from Orchard Park Shopping Centre.
The plan would require the seasonal outdoor farmers market moving across Springfield to its new location.
Parking, which has been an issue at the current farmer’s market site, would be addressed within the new plan.
Councillors appeared to like what they heard about the public and farmer’s market proposal,calling it exciting and potentially great for the city.