Capris-Landmark Urban Centre is a GO!

A plan to redevelop the Capris-Landmark area almost fell though at Kelowna city council on Monday.

The proposal has reached the council table a handful of times already and it seemed the vote would remain split.

Initially starting at $100 million, it is now estimated that redevelopment will cost $91 million, with two-thirds paid for by developers.

Originally, the plan called for $35 million for 5.8 hectares allotted to park acquisition and development. Councillor Brad Sieben announced that he would not support the plan with that price.

Although that number had been reduced by $11 million down to $29 million, the numbers still didn’t add up for Sieben.

“I think at redevelopment there’s opportunity to partner and do other things, rather than to dedicate $30 million to parks. I need some clarity on that and I haven’t been able to get clarity,” he told council.

Mayor Colin Basran deferred the decision until the end of the meeting to give city staff the chance to provide Sieben with the requested information.

Staff explained that the original plan called for Ritche Park, which would be 3 hectares and cost $11 million. To reduce costs, they cut Ritchie Park down to 1.2 hectares and eliminated 0.7 hectares of park elsewhere in the plan.

All in all, Sieben changed his vote and joined Mayor Colin Basran and Councillors Wooldridge, Donn, and Given to pass the motion.

Councillors Maxine Dehart, Luke Stack, and Charlie Hodge expressed concern over impact on small businesses.

“We have businesses there that are not high end. Where are they going to go? They can’t go into a high-rise and they can’t go into high priced industrial areas,” said DeHart

Kelowna expects to welcome approximately 8,000 new residents to the Capris-Landmark area by 2040.

To accommodate the population increase, transit will be improved and more multi-family housing will be built.

The plan will include a realignment and extension of Sutherland Ave. into a multi-use roadway, fully equipped with bike lanes and on-street parking.

City Manager, Doug Gilchrist reminded council that numbers were not set in stone and that costs would unravel over the course of 20 to 30 years.

Expenses were estimated to give a sense of whether the plan was financially feasible over the long term, not numbers that would be put into a budget at this stage.