Leonard Kerkhoff of Kerkhoff Construction discusses the plans for the One Water Street development in Kelowna with Dominic Rampone at Wednesday’s open house.—Image credit: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Plans for Kelowna’s tallest buildings unveiled

One Water Street would feature towers of 36- and a 29-storeys, as well as commercial units.

The architect designing what could be the two tallest buildings in Kelowna has a name for the style he’s proposing: Okanagan Urban.

Don Kasian of Kasian Architecture, the Vancouver firm designing the two-tower development to be known as One Water Street, said the proposed 36-storey and 29-storey towers will offer residents similar amenities to what they would have in a house here, including wrap-around balconies he described as “outdoor rooms.”

“That’s what people want,”said Kasian, whose firm is no stranger to Kelowna having designed the city’s new police services building on Clement as well as buildings at UBC Okanagan.

Speaking at a public presentation of plans for One Water Street in Kelowna Wednesday evening, Kasian said all the units will feature indoor and outdoor living thanks to the large balconies.

The development, by North American Property Group and Kerkhoff Construction, would feature the two towers on top of a three-storey “podium” building. That building would include street level commercial, two-storey townhouses and greenspace on the podium building’s roof.

The development is slated for the corner of Water Street and Sunset Drive, across from Prospera Place. The site has sat vacant for many years, having twice in the past been slated as home to a large new hotel. Both hotel proposals fell through.

Leorard Kerkhoff, with Kerkhoff Construction, said the big variance the developers will require from the city will be for the height of the towers. Under existing zoning, the maximum height allowed on the site is 24 storeys.

Kerkhoff said the proposed heights will make the buildings stand out on the downtown Kelowna skyline and that is why they are being designed to be thinner than normal. Because of that, he said, view corridors will be maintained.

The $220 million development will contain a total of 415 residential units, including the townhouses, seven live-work studios and 15 commercial units.

If approved by city council, the development would take about 30 months to build, said Kerkhoff.