Penticton city council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to officially cancel a deal with developers who had intended to build a 23-floor mixed-use building on Martin Street downtown. (Dustin Godfrey/Western News)

Downtown Penticton towers officially nixed

Council agreed to end the city’s contract with a developer that would have had a 23-floor tower built

The City of Penticton will officially cancel its deal with a developer that was expecting to build a 23-storey, mixed-use building in the downtown.

The building, dubbed Penticton Place – P2 by the developers, would have been Penticton’s tallest, which came with a snag — the height of the building would not have been within Transport Canada regulations due to its proximity to the airport.

The developers originally came to Penticton in 2009 with the proposal, and were given approval for the project, granted they could come to a deal with Transport Canada regarding the height of the building.

Related: Penticton tower deal on the chopping block

When the developers had not begun work on the project by 2013, they were back before council to request an extension to their deal with the city to continue working with Transport Canada and come to a solution.

“The development has not proceeded in the years since the agreement was signed for a variety of reasons — technical and economic,” a staff report on the matter reads. “The owners have now provided the city notice that they no longer wish to proceed with the development as outlined in the agreement and are requesting that the city mutually agree to cancel the agreement.”

Related: Developer seeking a second three-year extension

City council voted unanimously to agree to end the agreement with the developer Tuesday evening.

“This would have been a great catalyst project for our downtown, and that’s unfortunate it’s taken this long for what we hoped would have seen some airport height restrictions, some movement on that,” Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said.

“Hopefully cancelling this, potentially starting fresh, gives another opportunity for that vacant land to get some attention. I think that would be a great anchor for downtown.”

Related: Penticton council approves extension for proposed towers

That included an agreement from the city to pay back $150,000 the developer had provided for downtown planning work as part of the original agreement. But development services director Anthony Haddad said.

“Staff do not believe it would be in the public’s interest to contribute those funds to the developer for this site. The developer entered into the agreement with the risk that the development would not proceed.”


@dustinrgodfrey

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