Penticton is a gem of a city and full of potential, according to the developer of the former Ogopogo Motel site.
Several townhouses have already gone up next door on the site of the former Highland Motel, built by Surrey-based Azura Management.
“These buildings are all 60 years old, generally speaking – the owners haven’t reinvested money in keeping them current and things like the Highland had become an eyesore,” said Azura president and CEO Ewen Stewart. “The Ogopogo less so, but the owners didn’t reinvest any money into Penticton other than to buy the land and let it sit there.”
When the Ogopogo was purchased, out of the approximately 19 rooms, only 12 were occupied and maintained enough to be occupied. Stewart did note that other motels in the city were much better maintained, but that they were underbuilt and out of date.
Multiple plans for the property are being considered, including more townhomes, a six-storey apartment complex or the property’s zoning limit of a 15-storey tower.
“We’re trying to figure out what precisely to build. I have blueprints on multiple versions ready to go,” said Stewart.
After soil testing is completed and the concept finalized, there will still be more steps including the development permit stage before any work begins.
Originally, the plan for the riverside had been to develop just the townhouses before the opportunity to purchase the Ogopogo Motel property came up.
It’s not Azura’s first development in the city, with homes in Sendero Canyon also their work, with less than a dozen remaining to be built, out of 231 lots. If it was deemed feasible, the 15-storey tower could add up to 200 more residential units to the community.
Discussions with Azura and the city on OCP updates as part of the North Gateway redevelopment, as well as with other property owners in the area, are ongoing.
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