Interior Health has narrowed its search for a company to build an office tower downtown in which the health authority would rent space for as many as 1,000 workers currently housed in leased space at several locations throughout the city.
The project, which Kelowna City Hall says could be a catalyst for the rejuvenation of downtown is also prompting the city to build a new parkade between Memorial Arena and the Kelowna Museum and expand the nearby existing library parade all at a cost of $15 million.
The city says it would make a large amount of that money back from renting parking stalls in the new parkade to Interior Health for employees in the new building.
IH says its Kelowna Community Health and Services Centre project reached a key milestone last week with the announcement of the three proponents shortlisted following a request for qualifications to provide the required leased space IH needs downtown.
Ten teams responded to the RFQ. Following an evaluation of the responses, three teams were shortlisted:
• Bentall Kennedy (Canada) LP
• Morguard Corporation
• Plenary Group
“This is an important step in improving the way we provide community health and support services,” said Donna Lommer, Interior Health’s vice-president of residential services and CFO.
“Better clinical consultation between care teams and better coordination between support services will result in better service for our clients and patients.”
The next step in the procurement process for the building will be the release of a request for proposals to the three shortlisted teams.
A preferred proponent will be selected following an evaluation of responses to the RFP, likely in the late spring.
Construction is expected to start in 2013 with occupancy in fall 2015.
Interior Health will not own the building.
It says it is simply facilitating the construction by the private sector of a building that best suits the needs of its clients and employees.
As part of the RFP, Interior Health will lease approximately 145,000-square-feet of space in the completed building.
The announcement Interior Health’s plans for downtown was hailed as a major coup by the current Kelowna council shortly after it took office in late 2011.
The final cost of the leased space will be confirmed once the procurement process is complete and a contract is signed with the successful proponent, says Interior Health.