The soon-to-be-tallest building in Kelowna will be three stories lower than originally planned.
Council approved development permits for the 43-story UBC Okanagan downtown campus tower. The building, proposed for 550 Doyle Avenue, was first presented to council at 46 floors.
“While this represents a departure from the 2040 Official Community Plan (OCP) downtown heights map, which suggests a height of 26 storeys, OCP also has a policy that supports increasing the height,” said urban planner Trisa Atwood. “Policy 4.4.3 states that if a proposal contains significant benefits to the citizens of Kelowna, it shall be considered for additional height that applies in that case.”
Atwood noted that these benefits include rental housing, a post-secondary institution in a socially connected urban center, and outstanding architectural design. Councilor Luke Stack said the project is a substantial improvement and a win for the town centre.
“I also want to thank the applicant for bringing it down a few stories and listening to the council’s concerns and the public’s concerns. »
The building will house academic spaces on levels one through eight and 473 rental apartments on levels 12 through 43.
“It meets several of our targets, 473 rental units, it’s incredible,” said Councilor Loyal Wooldridge. “Normally, we approve about 955 a year, that is to say half in one afternoon.
Atwood told the council that there is currently a waiting list of 1,300 people for student accommodation at UBCO’s main campus. The downtown tower will house nursing and social work programs with 500 students eligible for housing. The height of the building was still a concern for some council members.
“But I’m impressed with the project as a whole,” the adviser said. Mohini Singh. “I think it’s a coup for us to have a world-class university right in the heart of our downtown core.”
Although he called it a “game changer” to have UBCO in downtown, the county. Charlie Hodge was the only one to vote against the development.
“I still can’t get past the height, I think it’s overkill,” Hodge added. “I also think it creates competition for other potential student accommodation downtown. I think the focus should be on education first and housing second when it comes to this particular project.
Hodge also said he felt the development was contrary to OCP.
“I have some security concerns, and good luck with parking, hope it works out.”
City CouncilCity of KelownadevelopmentUBC