Big-time downtown sale
Trevor Nichols - Jun 08, 2018 - Biz Releases

A pair of high-profile properties in downtown Kelowna have finally sold, and the Vancouver development company that shelled out for them has its eyes on a highrise.

The properties sit on either side of Leon Avenue, at 1660 and 1620 Water St. They once belonged to Kelowna entrepreneur Archie August, but now house a parking lot and Boyd’s Tire and Auto Service.

Mike Geddes of NAI Commercial helped facilitate the sale, although he wouldn’t identify the Vancouver company that bought the lots.

Image: NAI Commercial

He did say, however, the company had been hunting for property suitable for highrises in Kelowna for some time and that as soon as the Water Street properties hit the market it “pursued them quite aggressively.”

“I have no idea what their plans are, other than they were looking for a strong development site,” he said.

Dino Gini, the Kelowna real estate agent who represented the buyer, said he is bound by a confidentiality agreement and couldn’t give out any details on the buyers or their plans.

Geddes pointed out lots of developers have had their eyes on the prime downtown locations for some time, and the fact that they have finally sold is significant.

Archie August opened Kelowna Motors on Water Street in 1945, and the properties have belonged to his descendants for generations.

Geddes says the parking lot at 1660 Water sold for its $1.9 million list price. Across the street, the Boyd’s property sold for $2.9 million.

Image: NAI Commercial

Together, the two properties cover 0.72 acres.

Geddes said the properties have the potential to house a “really nice project that could help gentrify that whole area.”

He said it’s unlikely towers will be built on both sites, and that the developer will likely use one to help meet parking requirements for a tower on the other.

“I think it’s a good, optimistic purchase and sale for downtown. I think about when I’m driving into town, coming across the bridge and (thinking) what a tower on that site would look like,” he said.

Both properties are currently zoned C7, which means they can accommodate towers as high as 26 storeys without any variances.

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