New plans for UBCO’s downtown campus suggest a much larger tower than first proposed – Kelowna News

UBC Okanagan hopes to take the phrase “higher learning” to a whole new level.

In a new filing with the city Monday, the university is seeking to amend the height of its downtown campus and residential tower on Doyle Avenue from 34 storeys to 46.

It’s part of an application seeking an amendment for a comprehensively planned campus.

If ultimately approved by council, it would become the tallest building in the city, outdistancing the 42-storey Eli building, part of the Water Street by the Lake project.

The previous application for a 34-storey building was submitted to the city’s planning department in December, but has yet to reach the council table.

The latest iteration would include a “full range of academic, research and other supporting land uses essential to a leading-edge university program and campus,” the application notes.

Residential and education services would be primary uses within the building with child care, culture, health, liquor primary establishment, offices, professional services, religious assemblies and retail as secondary uses.

The top 34 floors would be dedicated to 503 residential units. Those would include 335 studio units, 68 one-bedroom and 100 two-bedroom.

Kelowna’s planning director Ryan Smith said a year ago 46 storeys may be pushing the limits of what the planning department may be able to support.

In that case, he was speaking of a 46-storey proposal from New Town Architecture on Bertram Street near Bernard.

That proposal has since been taken off the table.

In discussing that particular project and height in general, Smith said it was his belief the city has reached the pinnacle in terms of height, specifically talking about the 42-storey Eli project.

“Leon was sort of a special case. From a staff perspective, we don’t see the need to support much beyond what we already have, if at all,” he said at the time.

“40 may be pushing it.”

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