Plans revived for residential towers on Prospera Place parking lot

Towers on arena parking lot

Five years after plans first surfaced for construction of residential tower in front of Prospera Place, the idea is again alive and well.

GSL Group, which owns the arena and the parking lot, has revived plans to construct residential towers in the parking lot fronting onto Water Street and Cawston Avenue.

Discussions between GSL Group and the city's planning department have apparently been ongoing since April of this year, with the latest application and drawings submitted earlier this month.

The owners are seeking a text amendment for the lot which is presently zoned downtown urban centre.

The text amendment would seek to increase building heights on the property. The current zoning allows for maximum building heights of 12 storeys, or 44 metres.

The application is seeking an amendment to allow for heights of 13 storeys and 48 metres (tower 1), 22 storeys and 81 metres (tower 2) and 26 storeys and 95 metres (tower 3).

The towers would all sit on a 16-metre podium.

The development would encompass the entire front parking lot of the arena.

"With the text amendment application we are requesting early consideration in order to provide some direction to both the city and the property owners regarding previous discussion for the possible inclusion of arena event public parking as part of the future development of Lot 2, 1241 Water Street.," the application states.

"The possible inclusion of arena event public parking as part of the future development has been in discussion for several years as it appeared to have been of interest and of value to the City of Kelowna."

GSL does indicate the possibility of adding a partial level of underground parking (approximately 95 stalls) which could be secured for event parking at the arena.

However, they say with the developer picking up the additional cost, management of the stalls would fall to the developer and revenues retained by them.

The overall development proposes 457 total residential units including 75 bachelor, 209 one bedroom and 173 two bedroom suites. Parking would be available for 531 residential, visitor and commercial vehicles.

With the rationale for the project, the application states the development would include a double-height retail level with three levels of parking above.

"Three towers are envisioned on the site in a checkerboard pattern to optimize building separation with a five storey streetwall to help define and frame the public realm of the street," the application states.

"The two taller buildings are on the north and east to relate to the higher buildings currently under construction across Water St. and envisioned along the northern edge of the Civic Precinct."

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