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Abandoned no more
Trevor Nichols - Apr 24 - Biz Releases

Photo: Google Maps

A prominent building that has for years been decaying on the outskirts of Peachland is finally getting a facelift.

The property, officially located at 6575 Highway 97, sits about two kilometres south of downtown Peachland, and has been empty long enough that Peachland city staff couldn’t immediately tell Okanagan Edge for exactly how long.

But the infamous building’s new tenants, Peachland’s popular Dragon Lotus Restaurant, will be moving in later this year, and Owner Sam Vong has some big plans.

After Peachland council approved a development permit at its April 18 regular meeting, major work on the property began this weekend.

According to the application, Vong plans to upgrade the building by adding a 55-square-metre preparation area and 20 square metres of extra seating.

The Dragon Lotus currently sits on Beach Avenue in Peachland. Along with winning the Peachland Chamber of Commerce business of the year award in 2015, the restaurant has been named the best Chinese restaurant in B.C. for three years in a row by popular travel website TripAdvisor.

Vong told Okanagan Edge his old location was just too small, and he was starting to really need a bigger kitchen. When the Highway 97 building hit the market not long ago, he said he knew right away he wanted to move.

Once renovated, Vong said the new location will allow him to seat significantly more people, and the bigger kitchen will help him cut down on wait times for food.

“You don’t know how excited I am. I keep asking [the construction workers], can we go faster?” he joked.

In a cheeky Facebook post April 21, Vong announced Dragon Lotus would be shutting down its Beach Avenue restaurant as of August 27 this year.

“It will be sad that I won’t be able to cook anymore great Chinese food or serve delicious ice cream at 5872 Beach Ave anymore, but all things do eventually come to an end,” the post read.

Further down, Vong spilled the beans that, rather than closing, Dragon Lotus was actually moving to the new location. He says the new restaurant will open in early October, but promised “a few surprises” in the near future.

April 24 he also assured Okanagan Edge that, despite moving from downtown, Dragon Lotus will continue to serve ice cream.

Until the renovations are complete passersby can watch the renovations unfold. Over the weekend workers began dismantling much of the structure, and a post on Dragon Lotus’s facebook page shows major work already underway. Long promised to update customers regularly on the progress of the move.

30 pets saved from breeder
Alanna Kelly - Apr 24 - Biz Releases

Photo: SPCA

Dozens of animals have been removed from a puppy breeding operation near Lillooet.

A total of 24 dogs, including puppies, and six cats were all suffering from severe neglect.

A number of animals were rescued earlier this month.

“The dogs were kept in a filthy environment with high levels of ammonia from urine and have serious dental disease and badly matted fur,” said Kent Kokoska, senior animal protection officer for the BC SPCA.

“Some of the dogs were being kept in a chicken coop filled with chicken and dog feces, and one of the dogs and two puppies were being kept in a rodent cage,” he said.

The cats were severely matted and were also living in filthy, hazardous conditions without proper ventilation and light.

The SPCA is continuing to investigate, and charges of animal cruelty may be recommended.

The animals are currently staying at the SPCA facilities in Kamloops and Kelowna.

Mr. Lube moves into McCurdy
Okanagan Edge Staff - Apr 24 - Biz Releases

Photo: City of Kelowna

The McCurdy Corner shopping centre will likely soon feature a Mr. Lube vehicle service station.

Kelowna City Council will vote today on a development permit to allow the garage to set up shop at the shopping centre.

The proposal is for a one-and-a-half storey building with underground work stations. It includes three service bays, a lunch room, storage room and small retail area, in a design similar to other Mr. Lube stations in Kelowna.

The building will stand 6.8 metres tall, with a parapet that extends an extra 4.5 metres. It will feature glass garage doors, a stone finish, and timber hardie plank siding.

City staff say the underground work stations “must be constructed above the high water table and with consideration of the Mill Creek floodplain.”

They also applauded Mr. Lube for designing a garbage enclosure that is “functional and discreet,” featuring horizontal wooden planks and landscaping. Staff also say there is more than enough parking already on the site to accommodate the new service station.

Staff recommend council approve the application, and the vote to do so will take place at today’s regular council meeting.

Photo: City of Kelowna

New liquor store for Glenmore
Trevor Nichols - Apr 24 - Biz Releases

Photo: City of Kelowna

UPDATED (2:30 p.m.): Kelowna’s Glenmore neighbourhood is getting closer to a brand new liquor store.

The small store is planned to be a part of the shopping centre currently in development on the corner of Glenmore Road and Summit Drive.

April 24 Kelowna city council gave first reading to a rezoning application that will see the store get built, acting on a recommendation from city staff.

The recommendation to rezone a lot on the property many know as The Conservatory, came a year and a half after city staff initially came out against such zoning.

When the shopping centre was first proposed, in 2015, staff said allowing liquor sales there could mean a liquor store taking up a huge portion of the development.

Since then, the developer has built five of the six buildings it has planned for the site, so a giant liquor store isn’t in the cards.

Without that possibility, city planners support a small liquor store as part of the plaza, saying they don’t expect it to have any negative impacts on the area.

In fact, City Planner Ryan Roycroft says a small liquor store “will reduce the need for nearby residents to drive to other neighbourhoods.”

Should council green light the rezoning, it would allow for a 185-square-metre store at the centre of the commercial site, with extensive parking surrounding it.

Roycroft points out in his report to council the property is “centrally located in the Glenmore neighbourhood,” within walking distance of more than 200 apartments and the 600 current and proposed units of housing on the former Conservatory site.

The nearest liquor store, the Brandt’s Creek Liquor Store, is also nearly two kilometres away.

Pot experts on board
Special to Okanagan Edge - Apr 24 - Biz Releases

Photo: Facebook

Vernon-based True Leaf Medicine has brought several cannabis experts on board to guide the company through the final stages in Health Canada’s review of its application for a license to produce marijuana in Canada.

Experts from industry-leading PipeDreemz Inc., Protect-IP Global Solutions Inc., Eurofins Scientific and Ample Organics will be working with True Leaf over the next few weeks to prepare a review package for submission to Health Canada, under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations application process.

Health Canada recently upgraded the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) application process to the ACMPR licensing program, so the experts will be working with True Leaf to update its original MMPR application to ensure True Leaf meets or exceeds the new compliance measures.

“True Leaf is excited to have PipeDreemz, Protect-IP, Eurofins, and Ample Organics provide their expertise at this critical stage in the ACMPR review process,” said True Leaf CEO Darcy Bomford. “We sought out experts from these companies because several of their clients have already been successful in the ACMPR process.”

True Leaf has engaged PipeDreemz CEO Georges Routhier, a premier consultant to companies going through Health Canada’s Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) or ACMPR process since 2012. Mr. Routhier helps his clients navigate the complexities of the licensing process, specifically the design, construction, and operating procedures of marijuana production facilities. PipeDreemz is currently advising clients with over $150 million in production facilities under construction in Canada.

Protect-IP will advise True Leaf on the Physical Safety Integration of its planned production facility. Protect-IP’s engineering team has worked with companies in all phases of the licensing process, and will work with True Leaf on developing procedures for control systems, alarm systems, and CCTV using IP technology to ensure True Leaf builds and operates a safe and secure production facility.

Eurofins, a leading international group of laboratories with more than 22,000 employees across 225 sites in 39 countries, will help True Leaf test its marijuana products to ensure it complies with Health Canada regulations. Eurofins works with the pharmaceutical, food, environmental, and consumer products industries on a wide-range of scientific testing and support services.

True Leaf has also engaged Ample Organics, the most widely adopted seed-to-sale reporting system among Canada’s licensed marijuana producers.

“We are pleased to be working with True Leaf, a late stage ACMPR applicant,” said PipeDreemz CEO Georges Routhier. “Darcy and his team have chosen to accelerate their final push to the finish line, and together we expect to receive their pre-license inspection in the very near future.”

Aiming for zero waste
Okanagan Edge Staff - Apr 24 - BC Biz

A green initiative from London Drugs kept more than a million pounds of waste from landfills in 2016.

Several years ago, in 2008, the Canadian retailer began tracking its waste disposal rates in all its stores through its “What’s the green deal?” initiative.

In 2016 the chain notched another record year for waste diversion, with its 79 stores reaching a waste diversion rate of 92.8 per cent. That’s a total of 567,000 kilograms of waste diverted from Canadian landfills.

In B.C., the numbers were even a sliver higher, with the province’s chains reaching an average of 93 per cent waste reduction.

The goal, London Drugs says, it to eventually produce no waste at all.

London Drugs Representative Maury McCausland says reducing waste is one of the ways the company aims to give back to the communities it serves.

“Making recycling accessible to our customers, and the responsibility taken among our staff to recycle and divert waste, have been the keys to our success,” he says.

Part of the company’s “What’s the green deal?” initiative is also strategic partnerships with the communities they operate in. For example, as part of its partnership with Quest Food Exchange, the company donated more than 204,000 kilograms of food in 2016, preventing it from becoming organic waste, and supporting food banks in the communities it serves.

London Drugs also allows customers to drop off a variety of hard-to-recycle items at any of its stores to be recycled.

Those include electronics, styrofoam, batteries, ink cartridges, light bulbs and more.

“Our customers are our greatest ally in the war on waste. We are proud to work together with our customers to reduce waste.” says McCausland.

For more information on the “What’s the Green Deal?” initiative, visit the London Drugs website.

Home show has it all
Darren Handschuh - Apr 24 - Biz Releases

If it has to do with your home or your health, odds are it can be found at the Vernon Spring Home Show.

This the 19th year for the popular show that runs Saturday and Sunday at the Vernon curling rink.

Carmen Sieracki, with the home show, said the show is filled with home-related products, services, gadgets and all manner of goods.

“There are definitely some unique things here. You’ve got to come check it out. There are so many things here I can’t even name them all,” said Sieracki.

Sieracki said the show is not just about home-service products.

“It’s all encompassing. Anything to do with the home and health we have it here,” she said.

$9.4 million for Hindle
Wayne Moore - Apr 24 - Biz Releases

Photo: Google Maps

A Surrey company appears to be the leading candidate for the extension of John Hindle Drive.

BD Hall Constructors Corp. came in with the lowest of the five bids which appeared on BC Bid. Their bid came in at slightly under $9.4 million.

The highest of the five bids was provided by Copcan Civil Ltd. out of Nanaimo, at just under $11 million.

Bids on the project closed Wednesday, however, the contract has not yet been officially awarded.

The bid is unverified

Dollar amounts contained in the bid are still subject to review, calculation, verification and adjustment by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Final ranking of the total tender costs could change.

No Kelowna companies bid on the project.

The province has set out a budget of $11.6 million for the extension of John Hindle Drive from the Glenmore Landfill to Alumni Drive at UBC Okanagan.

The 1.8 kilometre extension will include a two-lane roadway, and a 2.8-kilometre paved multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.

Construction is expected to begin later this spring with completion expected in the spring of 2018.

Hollywood glam graces Kelowna
Okanagan Edge Staff - Apr 22 - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed

European Goldsmith Fine Jewellery brought out the best of the best Thursday night when they officially opened their new, Pandosy Street location.

At the invite-only opening ceremony the independent jeweller showcased a trio of rare Forevermark diamond pieces that had previously graced the red carpet, worn by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

A pair of Empress Drop Earrings worn by Pink at the 2013 Oscars and an Empress Ring Brie Larson sported at the 2017 Golden Globes were among the pieces, which were on display alongside several custom works created by European Goldsmith’s own in-house goldsmith.

“We brought in some really beautiful collections of jewellery that we would normally not have,” said Kim Berg, who co-owns the business with her husband Jon, the goldsmith behind Europen Goldsmith’s custom pieces.

“To get our hands on red-carpet pieces is quite a coup,” Kim added.

And while having such rare pieces in Kelowna was exciting, Kim said the most exciting news for European Goldsmith is their new location.

Prior to the move the business had operated out of Orchard Park Mall, where it was the only independent jeweller out of five with storefronts there.

Kim says having their own storefront, away from the bustle of the mall, will allow the business to attract and serve its clients more appropriately.

“We were in an environment that really promoted the chain stores, and what we try to do, and what we do best, is a level of service … and a quality of custom work and repairs [chain stores] don’t do,” she said.

“The mall served us very well over the years … but we’re now in a geographic position to market to the people that are probably buying what we do best.”

Along with that, she said the new location is significantly bigger than their old one, which will allow them the space they need to properly operate.

“We were bursting at the seams, this store is probably triple the size of the last one,” Kim said. “So we pulled the pin. It was a big decision, obviously,  but we are thrilled.”

Photo: Contributed

Big plans for old Cannery
Colin Dacre - Apr 22 - Biz Releases

Photo: Google Street View

New life may soon be coming to the old cannery building in Summerland.

The property’s current owners, Summy Holdings, will be before council on Monday for a demolition permit for the condemned structure on Lakeshore Drive South, next to the hatchery.

The original building on the same property, on the water, will be staying intact, with plans for a community centre and multi-purpose venue on the horizon.

Summy Holdings is asking council to waive tipping and demolition fees related to the teardown of the derelict structure, but will likely be presented with a different offer on Monday.

The Summerland Community Charter prohibits the district from directly supporting business, and is legally not allowed to waive the fees. However, council has the option of entering a partnership agreement, where the two parties could have an exchange of services.

Summy Holdings President, Jackson Friesen says if all goes to plan with the demolition, they could start renovations on the historic cannery building in the winter of next year. He hopes the property would become a community centre of sorts for Lower Town, with the ability to host events, farmers markets and more.

The footprint of the condemned building would likely be used for parking for the facility.

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