Tax exemption for downtown building

A new four-storey building under construction on Lawrence Avenue will take advantage of a City of Kelowna tax exemption and is expected to be complete during the summer of 2013.

Worman Commercial purchased the property at 265 Lawrence Ave. from the City of Kelowna and will build a red brick commercial building with FH & P Lawyers as its anchor tenant.

“This building will be a great addition to the downtown and it’s great that the Revitalization Tax Exemption played a part in getting this project underway,” says Jordan Hettinga, Real Estate Services Manager.

Builders who take advantage of the City’s Revitalization Tax Exemption program downtown or in the Rutland business district can be exempt from paying up to 100 per cent of the municipal share of taxes for up to 10 years on the improvement portion of the project.

Through the agreement process, Worman Commercial has committed to development timelines, building size and some design features requested by the City.

“Getting redevelopment started in this area was a priority for Council, so it’s encouraging to see property developers and business owners getting involved,” said Mayor Walter Gray. “There are good opportunities for redevelopment on Leon and Lawrence, plus we’re beginning to see more interest in general throughout the downtown.”

The 10-year exemption will run from 2015 to 2024.

The Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw was amended in 2011 as an incentive for property owners to invest in new projects that energize urban centres.

Exemptions were also approved earlier this year for Troika Developments at 554 Leon Ave. and Davara Holdings’ project near the corner of Leon Avenue and Bertram Street. 

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