Kelowna Springs Golf Course has been sold to British Columbia-based real estate development company Denciti Group.
The company acquired the 106.4 acres of property at 480 Penno Road in Kelowna with the intention of the redevelopment of the site as outlined in the unanimously approved 2040 Official Community Plan. Redevelopment of the property will also present an estimated 1040 new job opportunities and approximately $1.17 million in annual tax revenue for the city. The site is 5 minutes south of the airport, close to Highway 97 and other industrial activity, and is currently home to the Kelowna Springs Golf Course.
“We have a long history in Kelowna and the Central Okanagan region and we understand the significance of this property in its size and location,” says Garry Fawley, CEO of Denciti Development Corp. and 45-year veteran of the real estate industry. “Any decisions for the best use of this site will be based on extensive research and planning in consultation with the community. We are committed to working and growing with Kelowna for the long term.”
Denciti is exploring a variety of options which may include retention and possible enhancement of a portion of the property for recreational use. Fawley, who has been developing in the Okanagan since the 90s, adds that there are a range of community objectives to consider.
The location of the Kelowna Springs Golf Course has been designated as one of five ‘Growth Strategy Districts’ and plays a unique role as a driver of innovation, employment, and economic growth for the Okanagan region. “This property is near the airport and UBCO, it has easy highway access, and is part of Kelowna’s Gateway Plan,” says Fawley. “This city is growing. Businesses need space and young people need good jobs. We are excited by the opportunities this location presents.”
Denciti completed its purchase of the property in the Fall of 2022. In 2018, city staff presented a report to city council that recommended the designation of Kelowna Springs Golf Course as ‘industrial’ within the city’s Official Community Plan. In January 2022, council unanimously approved Kelowna’s 2040 OCP which determined the best use for the golf course property would be to support future industrial and economic growth. At that time, Denciti placed the property under contract for purchase. In August 2022, a motion to reverse the industrial designation of the property was voted down by city council. Based on the defeated motion and months of planning, third-party research, and consultation, Denciti moved forward with the purchase.
As the new owners of 480 Penno Road, Denciti has been engaging in discussions with city staff and council regarding the future of the property. "We are working alongside stakeholders to find a collaborative solution for the future of this property,” says Fawley. “We are ready to roll up our sleeves and work together to get this right for the people of Kelowna. We want to create a win-win situation for the entire community.”
A third-party environmental assessment has been completed to ensure that any kind of development would not negatively impact the property or wildlife in the area. The assessment confirmed 480 Penno Road site is not a wetland and the wetland boundary is entirely outside of the development area. “Environmental considerations will be a key driver in planning,” says Fawley. “We will work steadfastly with the city to ensure an innovative and responsible re-development of this property.”
The golf course is confirmed to stay operational until the end of the 2023 season.