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Kelowna building permits top $1B for three years running

Latest four projects total more than $200 million – and that doesn’t include the new UBC Okanagan campus downtown
Water Street by the Park in Kelowna’s downtown. | Wayne Moore

Kelowna, B.C., has surpassed $1 billion in building permit value for the third straight year.

And, using figures previously released by the city, recent permitting for several big ticket projects has pushed the total 2023 permit value to close to $1.2 billion which, if it is reached, would be a record year for the city.

The $1 billion milestone level was reached over the past few days when the city issued permits valued at $209.6 million for four projects.

The largest of those were two permits for the massive Water Street by the Park development on Leon Avenue valued at $118 million.

The two separate permits have a value of $79 million and $39 million. They are for the first two buildings of the three-tower project which, once complete, will drastically change the face of the lower block of Leon Avenue.

The city was well north of $900 million earlier this year after large projects including the final phase of the Aqua development ($140.6 million) and the downtown UBC Okanagan campus tower ($262 million) were issued building permits.

The UBCO projects represents the highest valued single building permit ever awarded in the city.

Kelowna first surpassed $1 billion in building permits in 2021 hitting nearly $1.187 billion. Last year, the value reached $1.18 billion.

Along with the Leon Avenue development, multi-million dollar permits were also issued for three other projects, including:

$49.1M for a 19-storey tower at 1333 Bertram Street

$27.8M for a six-storey mixed use development at 3061 Abbott Street

$14.7M for a six-storey apartment development at 1380 Pridham Avenue

The Abbott and Bertram projects are being developed by the Mission Group.

The development on Abbott intersecting with Cedar Avenue will include commercial on the main floor and 86 units above while its larger project on Bertram and Fuller Avenue includes 157 units - 15 per cent of which will be made available at below market rates for a 10-year period.

The Pridham Avenue development from Pacific West Architecture is a six-storey apartment featuring 99 for-sale units.

Earlier this year, director of development services Mo Bayat told Castanet News the number of building permits issued this year was lagging behind previous years, however the value, thanks to some of the larger projects, is higher.