Plans to give Penticton’s North Gateway a significant “facelift” so the city could have its first neighbourhood where residents could live, work, shop and play all within a 15-minute radius may get approved as early as June 21.
After over a year of collecting community feedback regarding the potential transformation of the city’s north end, the proposed redevelopment project was once again presented to council on May 17.
The “bold plan,” as described by the general manager of community services Anthony Haddad, hopes to add up to 2,250 new units within the area, as well as nearly 350 hotel rooms.
“The plan includes strategies that will transform this area into Penticton’s first neighborhood where residents and visitors can live, work, shop and play within a 15-minute walk to anywhere in the plan boundaries,” Haddad said.
Between five to 10 per cent of the units in the North Gateway area are planned to be non-market housing developments and will include 25,000 to 30,000 square feet in new commercial space.
Penticton’s north end would be divided into three different districts, according to Haddad, and include a Festival Boulevard road that connects Burnaby Avenue and Power Street.
The latest draft of the project was endorsed by council during its May 17 meeting. Community members are now asked to once again give feedback before the plan is brought back to council for one more go-around on June 21.
Members of the public will have an opportunity to provide the city with feedback regarding the project on May 19 at an upcoming open house, hosted by the city at the trade and convention centre.
“This is a very exciting redevelopment of a corner of the city that really needs a facelift,” said Coun. Julius Bloomfield. “It’s not only a nice drawing on a piece of paper, it’s a really nice consideration of the quality of life for the people that live in that area.”
The neighbourhood — best known for being home to the South Okanagan Events Centre and Penticton Trade and Convention Centre — currently serves as tourists’ “first impression” of Penticton. The installment of a “welcome sign” is included in the redevelopment plan.
“These are exciting times,” said acting mayor Judy Sentes at the latest council meeting. “It’s ambitious and really forward-thinking.”