Kelowna’s dirt pile is disappearing

Work is underway to remove the north-end eyesore pile of dirt at Water Street and Sunset Drive.

Finally, the dirt pile that sits at the intersection of Water Street and Sunset Drive will be gone.

Work started Tuesday morning to remove the approximate 33,000 cubic metres of dirt from the area — the only problem, where to put it?

Russ Watson, managing partner of North American Development Group, says construction will begin in the new year on One Water Street, a luxury tower development, and so the dirt needs to be taken from Sunset Drive as soon as possible.

“It will end up going to many projects around the city, starting with a build on Clifton Road, and we are excited to see it start to leave this site,” he says.

The dirt is structural fill that was placed on the land about 11 years ago by a previous developer.

Phase one of One Water Street will be a $150-million 36-storey tower project with street-front commercial.

“We will start in January with putting in the pilings for the foundation and that project will take about three-months,” explains Watson. “We are projecting a completion date for fall of 2020 for tower one and fall of 2021 for tower two.”

The project was just approved by Kelowna City Council only a few short weeks ago and work is already underway by Kerkhoff Construction.

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Robert Camacho with Kerkhoff Construction says they were eager to transform this area of Sunset Drive and connect it to the rest of downtown.

“I think a lot of people were excited to get this dirt pile out of here, and the City was excited about bringing a community feel to the area, they felt it was lacking,” he says.

Removing the dirt pile and constructing a project as large as One Water Street is a large undertaking and according to Camacho it will take a team of architects and structural engineers from around Western Canada to complete the project on time.

“To do a design like this and get through a development stage would take anywhere from 24 to 30 months and we put it together in about nine months,” says Camacho. “We wanted to bring something together quickly and everyone seemed to be available and it was about getting the right people on board at the right time.”

And, he remains positive the project will be completed on time and the dirt pile will no longer be the eyesore of the north-end.

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The first round of sales for ONE Water Street begins Friday, Sept. 29 and continues through Saturday. Ahead of construction more than 4,300 individual information requests for this Kelowna development have been received so far, including 400 requests for personal sales appointments to put them at the front of the queue.

Watson believes One Water Street will sell quickly and calls what will be the tallest residential towers between Metro Vancouver and Calgary a game changer for Kelowna.

“This will be an iconic world class project that you would expect to see in downtown Toronto or Calgary.”

If you need dirt from this structural fill please contact Kerkhoff Construction.