Kathy Michaels/Capital News The former Bargain Shop site on Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue has been sold to the Mission Group, a local developer. The former Bargain Shop site on Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue has been sold to the Mission Group, a local developer.—Kathy Michaels/Capital News

TOP STORIES OF 2017: The Bargain Shop gets new life

News from earlier this year that the Bargain Shop was purchased had the whole city talking.

News from earlier this year that the Bargain Shop was purchased had the whole city talking.

It was one of the Capital News’s best read stories and the community repeatedly came forward to offer their two cents on what should use the mammoth space on Bernard.

Regardless of their wishes, Mission Group president Randy Shier said the project is about a year from any official activity.

Thus far, planners are calling the space the “Bernard Block” and they already know it will be a mixed use, retail and residential project.

“We see it (being built) in three phases,” said Shier, adding that the St. Paul portion of the property allows for development up to 19 storeys tall and on Bernard the maximum level is 26 storeys.

RELATED: BARGAIN SHOP TO GET NEW LIFE

The first phase will start a year from now, the next a year after, and the next a year after that.

Basically, said Shier, the space is about five to six years from revitalization.

Among those that took an interest in the project were students from Kelowna Christian School’s economics 12 class, who made a visit to Mission Group to present their vision for the former Bargain Shop.

KCS teacher Dwayne Schulz asked the students for their ideas for the site.

Students agreed on a mixed-use tower and, interestingly, each group proposed common spaces and amenities to encourage social connection and to foster a sense of belonging amongst residents.

“These are bright kids and we loved their creativity,” said the Mission Group’s Luke Turri. “As a company we’re actually going through the same exercises on this property right now, trying to figure out the right mix of uses that will integrate best with the Bernard district and Kelowna community.”

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kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

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