A year and a half after Mission Group bought the former Bargain Centre and an adjacent parking lot on Bernard Avenue and St. Paul Street, the development company has finally broken ground on its project for the site.
A wide range of dignitaries was on hand Wednesday afternoon in downtown Kelowna for the ceremony, which signified the commencement of the Brooklyn tower. It is the first of three buildings that will be part of the company’s Bernard Block project.
Brooklyn will feature 178 homes and a 25th-floor terrace, bringing densification to downtown Kelowna that is well underway with several other condominium projects currently on the go, including Mission Group’s Ella tower on the northwest corner of Lawrence Avenue and Ellis Street.
“Adding people to this core part of our downtown has really been a long time coming,” Mission Group executive vice-president Luke Turri said. “So we’re really excited to be a part of that and to see what that’s going to do just for the energy downtown.”
Brooklyn homes started selling September, and 70 per cent of them have been purchased. The last group of homes to be sold at pre-construction prices, called the Urban Collection, will be available for purchase on April 27.
Mayor Colin Basran was on hand for the groundbreaking, and he is overjoyed to see this kind of development happening in his city.
“Unfortunately, for a very long time, this whole block of Bernard has been sterilized,” Basran told the assembled crowd. “And now to see it come to life over the next few years, it’s just going to be absolutely incredible.”
Crews have already been working on the Brooklyn site for two weeks, and the steel piles will start being driven into the ground in early April. Mission’s mission is to have everyone moving into the tower in two years.
“People have shown a lot of interest in knowing what downtown is now,” Turri said, “but I think a lot of people even more so are interested in what downtown is going to be with all of these people down here.”
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