City considering selling downtown property to printing company

Three lots on Brunswick Street had been designated for affordable housing

Three city-owned lots along Brunswick Street in Penticton have long been earmarked for affordable housing, but now the city is looking at selling part of the property for a commercial development.

James Parker, owner of Okanagan Label and Print, approached Penticton city council recently to ask the city to sell part of the land at 284 and 296 Brunswick St. in order for him to expand his business.

Okanagan Label and Print is a growing company, supporting the wine and spirits industry, and owner James Parker told council they need to find a place to build an expanded plant in order to keep up with demand.

“Five years ago, we located in the city of Penticton to be in the centre of the wine community in B.C.,” said Parker, adding that they brought in a special press to print bottle labels.

“After installing this machine, we’ve been growing at an alarming rate, year after year.”

The presses are extremely large and rare, with only 75 in existence around the world, Parker said.

He has a new one on the way, which will take about 11 months to construct and install.

“This machine we are going to be purchasing will be 100 feet long and 53,000 pounds,” said Parker.

“Over the last year, I have been searching to try and find a lot or a building big enough, and long enough to house both of these machines and we have been totally unable to find anything in the city of Penticton.”

The parcels at Brunswick Street, however, would be large enough for a building housing both presses.

Barker said his company currently employs 11 people, and operates 24 hours a day, but over the next few months, he will be forced to make decisions on the future of the company, though he would prefer to remain in Penticton.

Parker told council he would be amenable to adding an affordable housing component to the building, but that would have to take place up to three years in the future, after the operation was up and running.

“If the time frame allowed, I would be interested in taking on the project above my half,” said Parker.

Council voted to put the land up for sale, but unlike the nine properties along Eckhardt Avenue that were sold for the failed hockey dormitory project, decided to follow a public process for the sale of the land.

“This is the first step in engaging the public, we will have to go to a public process that will allow anyone who has an idea similar to yours to come forward and it has to be a fair competition,” said Mayor Garry Litke.

Council voted six to one, with Coun. John Vassilaki voting against, to begin the process for selling the land,  with the conditions that the development of the land be required to accommodate affordable housing units about a commercial use on the main floor and that the funds from the sale of the land be used for a future affordable housing project.


Just Posted

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Most Read