On Saturday there will be a public open house to display plans for a new marina and a public pier in downtown Kelowna. The open house will be on Saturday, June 23, from 1:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon, in the tent at Kerry Park. The open house will provide people an opportunity to view plans for the project and talk with the project team.
The project will be located off the shore of Kerry Park and features the following:
- A public pier, over 6 metres wide, extending 150 metres out into Okanagan Lake.
- Moorage slips for approximately 68 boats, including 27 for hourly and day-use moorage, 30 for temporary overnight moorage and 11 for rental boat moorage.
- A boat and watercraft rental business and marine fueling station, operated by Eldorado Marina.
- The existing commercial tour boats will be relocated from the foot of Bernard Avenue to a new and improved facility at the foot of Queensway Avenue.
The project is being led by Westcorp Inc., a property development, investment and management company based in Edmonton, Calgary and Kelowna.
The project has the endorsement of Kelowna City Council. With most of the City’s capital funding for the next 10 years already allocated to other initiatives, Council sees partnering with the private sector for this project as a viable means to provide a much-desired public amenity in a cost effective manner.
In 2011 the City of Kelowna publically issued a request for proposals for the project. Proponents were invited to submit designs and business proposals to design, build, operate and maintain the facility for 15 years.
The project is being built to help meet the demand for temporary moorage in downtown Kelowna in a way that benefits the boating public, the public at large and downtown business.
The estimated total capital cost of the project is over $4 million, almost all of which is being funded by Westcorp. The City is contributing $200,000. In exchange for its investment in the development and operation of the project, Westcorp will collect revenue from boat moorage and operate the pier and marina for 15 years, with a mutual option to renew for an additional 5 years. There will be no cost to the walking public for use of the pier.
In addition to its functional and aesthetic objectives, the project must also meet local, provincial and federal approvals regarding the environment, navigation, construction and safety.
Following the open house, Westcorp and their team of consultants and builders will finalize plans for the project and submit them to the various approving agencies that have jurisdiction over the project.
Construction is scheduled to start in late 2012 or early 2013. The grand opening of the new pier and marina is scheduled for May 2013.