Prep work to take place for eventual redevelopment of Kelowna’s Kerry Park

The small, lakefront park at the foot of Bernard Avenue, will front the new Westcorp hotel when the hotel is built.

A computer generated artist's rendition of how Kerry Park would front the new

If you see work in Kerry Park in downtown Kelowna next week, it’s not the start of the long-awaited redevelopment of the park—just prep work to plan for that redevelopment.

On Monday, June 20 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., utility locates and geotechnical drilling and exploration will take place in the park, located on the downtown lakeshore at at the foot of Bernard Avenue.

This city says the work is necessary to obtain information about the physical properties of the soil in the park and condition of the retaining wall for detailed design and cost estimates for the design of a future redevelopment.

A concept plan for Kerry Park was unveiled at a public open house in June 2012 and presented to city council in April 2013. The timing of the park redevelopment is subject to funding.

But some of the work could be done in conjunction with the construction of the planned new Westcorp hotel at Queensway and Mill Street, adjacent to the park.

As part of the plan for the new 24-storey hotel—construction of which is slated to start next year and take close to two years to complete—Mill Street, which currently runs between the hotel site and the park, will be closed and the land sold to Westcorp to become part of the hotel site.

According to the plans for Kerry Park made public in 20102, key features of the redevelopment concept plan include:

• Continuity along the waterfront with respect to pedestrian and cyclist mobility

• Upgraded infrastructure for programmed events and activities

• Coordination of the waterfront walkway with the entrance to the downtown pier and marina. Both the pier and marina were built by, and are operated by, Westcorp.

On Monday, minor disruptions are expected to occur in the Kerry Park and Queensway areas, and the public is asked to be aware and respectful of contractors in the park, on the promenade and in the parking areas.