A request by the City of Kelowna to move the planned location of new 32-storey downtown hotel and condo tower less than a metre has paved the way for what the developer described as a new street plaza.
Westcorp is planning to build the hotel/condo tower on Queensway, across from Kerry Park on the site of the former Willow Inn Hotel.
As part of a deal with the city, the existing Mill Street, which runs between the hotel property and the park will be closed and Queensway, from Water Street to the lakeshore, will become the new cul-de-sac plaza.
Kelowna Tourism’s new visitor centre is currently under construction at the foot of Queensway.
“It basically gave us the opportunity to create a grand entrance to the hotel, Kerry Park and the new tourism centre,” said Gail Temple, vice-president of Westcorp.
She said latest plans for the hotel, which were revamped last year from the original proposal of a 24-storey hotel-only building to a 32-story tower with 174 hotel rooms and between 40 and 49 condominiums, will go back to council for approval later this month.
The elliptical-shaped tower will also include a conference centre, restaurant, coffee shop, retail space and a second restaurant on the 16th floor.
The hotel proposal was first approved by council in 2014 but has been delayed several times, and was redesigned last year.
Earlier this week, plans for the hotel, including the new street plaza, were put on display for the public.