New development will bring community features to cultural core of downtown Kelowna
The long-term land lease of 350 Doyle Avenue, the former site of Kelowna’s RCMP headquarters, has been finalized and all conditions lifted. The proposed mixed-use project by RISE Commercial Developments will be one of the first steps to realizing a vision of vibrancy for this key downtown area as outlined in the Civic Precinct Plan.
“This investment will bring forward key elements of the Civic Precinct Plan, which was completed in 2016 based on extensive public engagement and provides the guiding direction for growth in this area,” said Graham Hood, Strategic Land Development Manager. “These key features and amenities will connect the new development to the Cultural District without a direct impact on taxation.”
The City will receive $7 million for the initial 80-year lease; of this, $4.3 million will be directly reinvested into the site to develop a new civic plaza, Artwalk extension, and 6,000 square feet of community amenity space. Work is underway to investigate the feasibility of establishing a new Creative Hub in the community space, designed to flexibly accommodate a range of creative activities and enhance the existing portfolio of cultural spaces in our community. Upon completion of the feasibility work later this year, a report and recommendations with respect to this space will be provided to Council for consideration.
“We’re seeing exciting new elements on the horizon as downtown Kelowna continues to grow in step with our city,” said Hood. “With many new residential units in the pipeline to strengthen downtown housing needs and a new downtown UBC Okanagan campus being developed, adding to our renowned waterfront parks, active transportation corridors and eclectic food and beverage and retail sector, this development is another step in ensuring downtown Kelowna is an attractive place to live, work and play into the future.”
As the Civic Precinct Plan takes shape, the future of the Kelowna Community Theatre emerges as one of the next major steps in maximizing the vitality of the Precinct and the creative community. The high-profile site on the corner of Doyle Avenue and Water Street has been intentionally earmarked for a future performing arts centre that incorporates signature architectural design elements.
Site analysis confirms that the existing site can accommodate a larger auditorium, and more extensive front- and back-of-house amenities to serve Kelowna’s audiences and performers for many decades to come. Funding for a project of this magnitude will be assembled through a number of sources. Recognizing the importance of the theatre, Council has provided budget in 2021 to support research into a range of funding and partnership options.
RISE Commercial Developments, headquartered in Kelowna, has extensive experience developing projects across Canada, including The Shore, recently completed on Lakeshore Road.
It is anticipated the developer will proceed with the public development permit process and rezoning later this year. The timeline for construction is within three years of the closing date.
For more information about the Civic Precinct Plan, visit kelowna.ca.