City buys up waterfront park space

The City of Kelowna has added some new waterfront park space.

On Monday, the city announced its acquisition of a two-acre property on Hobson Road, right next to the Central Okanagan Small Boat Association.

Real Estate Services Manager Johannes Säufferer says this had been on the city's radar for awhile.

"It along with a hundred some-odd other properties that we keep track of was an acquisition target, and in this case it came up for sale," he said.

"We entered some discussions with the vendor, to see if we could buy it at market value."

The $4.4 million dollar property currently has only one property on it - a waterfront cabin that will eventually be demolished.

He says the site had three main perks.

"First of all, it's adjacent to an existing city-owned park. Second of all, it's a large site. So economies of scale-wise, the value works out quite well, on a dollar per square foot basis for land you're buying. And third of all, the home is older, and it's just one residence."

The owner will vacate the property at the end of November this year, with the city hoping to open up public access by next spring.

Säufferer says the new park will be basic to start...

"Next year, hopefully it'll look somewhat ike Bluebird Beach Park - both of those, within hopefully my lifetime, will look more like Rotary or Gyro, where there's a grass area, volleyball," he said.

"That's still the ultimate vision - washrooms - but those take a lot of money to do. And it's going to take awhile before that level of development gets done for those parks."

The purchase was funded through development cost charge revenue that had been earmarked for buying parkspace.