A rendering of the proposed tower included in New Town Architecture’s January 2021 application to the city. (Contributed/New Town Architecture)

A rendering of the proposed tower included in New Town Architecture’s January 2021 application to the city. (Contributed/New Town Architecture)

Kelowna city staff not a fan of ‘2020’ tower proposal

Tower plans reduced to 35 storeys from 46, but city staff say it’s still too big

A tower proposed to soar over Kelowna’s Bertram Street at 35 storeys will not get support from city planners.

Donning the name ‘2020,’ plans were submitted to the city in January for a 46-storey structure abutting Mission Group’s currently under-construction Bernard Block towers. Despite the developer chopping 11 storeys off that initial proposal, the building is still 23 storeys taller than the 12 storeys current zoning for the area allows.

The aforementioned Bernard Block towers will all transcend the same height restriction. They will stand 36, 26 and 18 storeys once complete. And just across the street from 2020 on Bertram, BC Housing is planning to build a 20-storey building.

READ MORE: Planning staff want Kelowna council to weigh in earlier on ‘complex’ proposals

READ MORE: Proposed 46-storey tower dubbed ‘2020’ would be Kelowna’s tallest building

Still, staff is recommending city council not consider rezoning and Official Community Plan amendment applications at its Monday, July 26 meeting.

Council is set to weigh in on this project much sooner in the process than it usually would as a test for a new bylaw proposed by city staff.

In May, the city’s planning department came to council suggesting a number of procedural changes to bring complex projects to council early. The changes would ultimately save both city staff and developers the time and money of pouring significant work into an application if council isn’t keen in the early stages.

Current plans show the 35-storey tower having 276 units, a mix of for-sale and rental units with studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The 30 storeys of residential space would sit atop six levels of parking with 276 parking stalls. In its initial January application, the developer touted the tower as providing downtown housing for the “missing middle.”

“The future residents will likely include many people working in downtown Kelowna,” reads the application. “This group will include the working poor and previously excluded. For the first time, downtown employees that are support staff, delivery agents or a single mom making her way, they could call 2020 home.”

READ MORE: Kelowna’s next tallest building receives hesitant approval from council

READ MORE: Kelowna council approves rezoning for contentious Costco relocation


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City CouncilCity of KelownadevelopmentKelownaOkanagan