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Kelowna  

Developing an eyesore

It's been sitting vacant for more than a decade, after two proposed hotel projects fell apart.

Now, if all goes well at city hall, a piece of property across from Prospera Place, could become a 16-storey mixed use development.

Council approved the property at 1187 Sunset Drive for a 358-room hotel in 2002. When that fell through, a second development was approved in 2005 for a $150 million, 20-storey Westin Hotel.

The developers got as far as pre-loading the site with dirt before financing ran dry.

The dirt-covered property has become a haven for the homeless ever since.

That may be about to change.

North American Development Group has an offer pending on the property and a rezoning application in the hands of the city's planning department.

Jeff Hudson, with HM Commercial Group which is selling the property, said it's not unusual for a developer to test the waters at city hall before finalizing a purchase.

Plans presented to the city show two 16-storey towers on the north and south ends of the property as well as 36 townhouses along Ellis Street and on the northern edge.

Plans call for 151 rental units in the south tower and 132 for-sale units in the north tower. Units are a mix of micro, one and two-bedroom suites.

City planner Ryan Roycroft says plans are for the south rental tower to be constructed first.

Several commercial spaces are also shown at ground level including one for a possible restaurant.

The proposal has yet to come before council.

There's no word on the sale price, but the property was listed at $9.5 million.



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