Bye bye, dirt pile

Alanna Kelly

Construction has officially begun on the Kelowna development that will one day supplant the downtown core’s much-maligned dirt pile.

One Water Street will see a pair of residential highrises – 29 and 36 storeys high – built atop a three-storey podium housing retail space along Sunset Drive, Clement Avenue and Ellis Street.

At a ceremony marking the start of construction on the 36-storey East Tower, Mayor Colin Basran said One Water Street “will be one of the city’s most striking properties.”

Henry Bereznicki, a managing partner at North American Development Group, said the East Tower is “very close to being very sold out,” with more than 190 units already spoken for.

Because of the high interest, NADG and Kerkhoff Construction will begin marketing of the second tower immediately, with sales starting this spring, six months earlier than planned.

Leonard Kerkhoff, vice-president of Kerkhoff Construction, said his company plans to have the first tower finished by 2020. He said if demand keeps up, the developers will go straight into construction of the second tower.

For now, the developers have begun pile driving on the property. Kerkhoff said approximately 150 piles will eventually go into the ground, each as deep as 150 feet.

To mark the occasion, Kerkhoff announced the developers’ Kick off the Count program, which will see them donate one dollar for every foot of the East Tower’s pile to JoAnna’s House.

JoAnna’s House provides a place to stay for out-of-town families whose loved ones are getting treatment at Kelowna General Hospital.

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