Sale of downtown land approved for new Vernon cultural centre

City council approved the sale of Vernon Block land to RDNO for $2.47 million

Progress has been made on a land sale agreement that will set the stage for a proposed cultural centre in downtown Vernon.

During its meeting Monday, Sept. 14, city council directed administration to complete the sale of land at 2910 32nd Avenue — known as the Vernon Block — to the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO). The sale paves the way for the facility’s construction on what is currently a parking lot.

Following Monday’s regular open meeting, council returned to an in-camera meeting and passed a resolution to declassify the land sale agreement.

“A lot of good work has gone into the Cultural Centre project recently,” Mayor Victor Cumming said. “In the last few months, elected officials and staff from the City of Vernon, the District of Coldstream, and Electoral Areas B and C have had a series of productive meetings to move the project forward. Finalizing the land sale agreement is a critical step in seeing this regional facility come to life and we are pleased to finally be at this stage of the process.”

Council directed staff to sell and transfer up to one half of the city-owned Vernon Block to the RDNO at $75 per square foot. The land is approximately 33,000 square feet, putting the total value of the sale at $2,475,000.

READ MORE: Square footage may be revisited for Vernon cultural centre

The price was set at fair market value by an independent, third-party appraisal, the city said.

The Vernon, Coldstream, and Areas B and C are funding partners through the RDNO, and each pays a proportionate amount of costs associated with regional services.

“What’s important for our residents to understand is that the City of Vernon has already purchased the Vernon Block land and has invested a considerable amount of time and funding to prepare the site for future development, such as off-site works,” Cumming said.

“We are not asking Vernon taxpayers to purchase the land a second time. Rather, our partners in Coldstream and Areas B and C will need to pay their portion of the land cost (31.4 per cent).”

In a 2018 referendum Greater Vernon taxpayers approved borrowing up to $25 million for the multi-purpose cultural centre that is expected to cost $40 million in total.

In August council unanimously voted to direct staff to negotiate the conditions of the sale. Monday’s decision comes ahead of an Oct. 1 federal grant deadline to further support the facility’s construction.

READ MORE: Park planning pause still in play: Vernon council


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Culturedevelopment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Kiera Bourque manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Squabble over mask policy at LUSH in Kelowna mall

The woman filmed the encounter at LUSH Cosmetics, where wearing a mask in-store is company policy

Cops For Kids ride wraps in Okanagan

No pomp, no circumstance for end of milestone 20th anniversary fundraising bicycle trip

Former Kelowna cop faces fourth lawsuit alleging sexual assault

Ex-Mountie Brian Mathew Burkett is also separately facing seven charges of breach of trust

Province opens ‘middle income’ housing in Kelowna

Prices on the units are $1300 for a one-bedroom and $1780 for a two-bedroom, nearing area-average prices

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Reward offered for return of Okanagan puppy

An 11-week-old boxer-mastiff cross pup was allegedly taken from its Kelowna Friday, Sept. 18

Most Read