33 storey tower set for downtown waterfront

Westcorp

What is set to be the tallest structure in downtown Kelowna was given a building extension by city council on Tuesday.

The project is a 33-storey hotel and luxury condo tower on the corner of Queensway and Mill Street.

The development was given council's endorsement back in 2018, against staff’s recommendation, who said the project was too large for the site.

The original development permit expires on February 20th, triggering the need for approval of the new development permit.

The applicant came back with a few small improvements to the project, including reducing the height by 4.57 meters and reducing visibility of the parkade on Water St.

The tower will also include a luxury restaurant on the 18th floor.

Councillor Loyal Wooldridge was impressed with WestCorp Development's proposal, saying the extra time has allowed them time to revisit and refine the concept.

“I also really like the amount of public use in the building, the spa, the restaurant and it is truly spectacular. So, I do look forward to this moving ahead and I noticed a small detail that long term bicycle parking was also increased as well so that was a great edition,” said Wooldridge.

Councillor Luke Stack said having another major hotel in the downtown core is something Kelowna has longed for.

“I think this will be a tremendous beacon for the downtown of our city and it will be a landmark hotel. Not by name Landmark hotel but, you what I mean, landmark in the sense that everyone will know where it is and it will be a very significant tourist attraction for our city,” said stack.

Councillor Gail Given agreed.

She said she is looking forward to the project finally coming to fruition within the next few years.

“I think the architecture is absolutely stunning and this will be a beautiful addition to our downtown. To councillor Stack’s point, the addition of another hotel at opposite ends of our boardwalk will really be a great edition,” said Given.

The development of this project will contribute $782.455 to amenities in the surrounding area, including improvements to Kerry Park and restructuring and landscaping on the Queensway.

WestCorp plans to announce the hotel name and brand on March 25th.

The project was endorsed in a 5-1 vote.

Councillors Maxine DeHart and Ryan Donn did not attend, Brad Sieben stepped out for conflict of interest and Charlie Hodge voted not in favour.