City plans to renovate and revitalize the north end of Penticton – Okanagan
They say first impressions are everything – and the entrance to the city of Penticton from the north is less than welcoming.
Old buildings, sprawling concrete, and lack of sidewalks and cycle paths make it a less desirable place to live, work, and visit.
“This area is extremely vehicle-oriented, and, there is a lack of pedestrian infrastructure, cycling infrastructure, green spaces are somewhat lacking in the region, and these are some of the key elements that we are going to consider as part of this planning for North Gateway. process, ”said Anthony Haddad, executive director of community services.
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A recent real estate survey commissioned by the city revealed that there was a lot of work to be done.
“In its current state, there are many challenges that prevent the North Gateway from becoming a destination hub for the City of Penticton. These challenges include an incomplete and inconsistent streetscape, inactive street facades, a lack of business opportunities, and a built environment that is not conducive to active transportation, ”said the report, written by Colliers Strategy & Consulting Group. .
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The city hopes to change that with a bold 20 to 30 year plan to revitalize the North Gate, attracting upscale hotels and retail while improving the ability to walk so residents and visitors can get around on foot. .
“We want to make it green, make it green, healthy and walkable,” said Michael von Hausen, president of MVH Urban Planning and Design.
“It’s a 15-minute community. In other words, you can walk from the east side to the west side in 15 minutes.
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The Colliers report found that demand for hotel rooms will grow from 348,000 in 2019 to 472,000 by 2030, driven by tourism and PTCC delegates.
He said the city needs to make sure conventions and conferences choose Penticton over other cities with better hotel room deals.
“One of the shortcomings of our congress activities in the community is the lack of hotels, and in particular, the lack of a hotel attached to our trade and convention center, and the board identified this as a big problem. when he was elected, ”Haddad said. noted.
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A new 105-room Four Points by Sheraton hotel will soon be under construction next to the PTCC, which will help attract those larger conferences, Haddad said.
Colliers believes Penticton could potentially support an additional 50 to 120 hotel rooms over the next 10 years in addition to the upcoming offering, without significantly affecting the performance of existing operators.
The report also noted that 385 homes are located in the North Gateway area, which represents just two percent of the city’s total housing stock.
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More than half of the homes were built before 1980, and consultants said higher density could revitalize the area.
“The demand for housing in our community is considerably high. We have low vacancy rates and we are seeing significant interest in development from local developers and we are offering a wider variety of housing options, ”Haddad said.
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The consultant’s report also says the North Gateway is outdated and its low density contributes to a lack of identity and an unappealing overall experience.
“In order to get the best and best use of the land in the North Gate, while welcoming more residents, visitors and businesses to the area, the City of Penticton will need to undergo changes to the current zoning bylaws in the strategic areas, ”Colliers said. .
Planners and urban designers met this week with landowners, residents and businesses to develop a plan that will be presented to city council this fall.
More information is available on the City of Penticton website.
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