A wedge-shaped building, aptly entitled ‘The Wedge’, has been proposed for downtown Kelowna.
However, the unconventional six-storey building comes with some unusual circumstances, prompting city staff’s recommendation of non-support for the project when it goes to city council on March 17.
“Staff are not supportive of the developer’s proposal due to inability to provide any parking within the development and the applicant’s unwillingness to provide payment under the city’s cash-in-lieu of parking bylaw,” read part of city planners’ report on the building located on a small lot at the corner of Water Street and Leon Avenue.
A view of the structure from along Water Street. (Contributed)
The zoning requirement for the area calls for 10 on-site parking stalls, which staff called “not possible” due to the lot’s small size, or a cash-in-lieu payment of $330,000.
Besides parking, several other variances would also be needed for the proposal to go ahead, including three variances related to the property’s setback, one related to a lack of short-term bicycle parking and one to reduce the minimum commercial frontage below the 90 per cent required.
The building would consist of one or two retail tenants on the first floor — the report mentions a bar, cafe or restaurant as a likely option — upper floor offices and a common rooftop patio.
Despite the small building footprint and the small total building area, the applicant has included a bike storage room for 13 long-term bike stalls on the ground floor to encourage active transportation. Washrooms, change rooms, lockers, and showers would be available alongside those stalls.