This is a proposal you would normally expect for downtown Vancouver given its high calibre, but it is actually slated for a lakefront property in downtown Kelowna.
Edmonton-based developer Westcorp has submitted a development application to the City of Kelowna to redevelop the now-closed Willow Inn at 235 Queensway Avenue into a world-class urban resort.
The proposal is for a 32-storey tower consisting of 174 hotel rooms, a conference centre, retail space, and restaurant and coffee shop with patios on the ground-level next to Kerry Park.
This latest design a revamp of a previously approved proposal that called for a 24-storey building with 189 hotel rooms and 25 long-stay rental suites.
The added height of the new design allows for the incorporation of 49 market residential units above the hotel portion of the tower and a unique dining amenity on the 16th floor – a “sky restaurant” and culinary venue with 16-ft-high ceilings and panoramic views of the city and Okanagan Lake.
While the previous design called for a large above-ground parkade with 242 parking stalls, the latest design has two separate underground parking areas, with 156 stalls for hotel and public parking and 133 secured stalls for tower residents.
Designed by Barcelona’s GCA Architects and Canadian firm IBI Group, the tower has a slender, elliptical shape and is intended to be a landmark building in Kelowna’s emerging city centre.
“The slender massing of the tower is punctuated with the mid-level banding of the sky restaurant that balances the tower’s vertical elements at the base and at its mid-section into two proportionally pleasing halves,” reads the architect’s design rationale.
“The sky restaurant floor also provides the transition between the rhythm of balconies of the hotel floors and the rhythm of balconies of the suites and condo units.”
As well, vertical lighting treatment on the exterior will turn the tower into a glowing beacon structure in the night skyline.
According to the developer, the redevelopment is modelled after several upscale Vancouver hotel buildings, such as the Fairmont Pacific Rim, Hotel Georgia, Shangri La, and Le Germain.
“This is a one-of-a-kind site in a very special place in the world,” said Phil Milroy, CEO of Westcorp, in a statement. “A site like this demanded a strong responsibility to get it just right, and we are happy with the results of our patience.”
“The hotel, and the stunning homes that will accompany it, will bring a presence and grace to the waterfront that will compete on the world stage.”