Sole Downtown

Sole Downtown, which will start construction soon for completion in fall 2017, will look exactly like Sole Kelowna just a block-and-a-half north at 1295 St. Paul St.

Don’t mess with success.

That’s the approach Edgecombe Builders is taking with Sole Downtown, the funky, six-storey, mixed-use complex it will construct at 1350 St. Paul St. in downtown Kelowna.

The building will be an exact replica of the original Sole Kelowna at 1295 St. Paul St.

“Some of the interior colours and finishings will be a little different, and there will be bit of a change to exterior colours and finishes,” said Mark West of Epic Real Estate Solutions.

Epic sold the commercial units and condominiums in the original Sole and will be doing so again with the new Sole.

“But, yes, otherwise it is the same floor plan and the same building just a block-and-a-half away,” added West.

One of the new interior colour schemes is edgy orange walls punctuated by a big window and big TV, dark wood floors and white-cabinet kitchen.

Just as with Sole Kelowna, Sole Downtown will have a concrete base of three floors made up of commercial units for sale with three storeys of wood frame for 40 condos on top.

The original Sole made history in Kelowna when it was one of the first buildings with wood-frame components to rise above four storeys.

The provincial government is encouraging wood-frame construction over four floors because wood is strong, sustainable and stimulates forestry, B.C.’s largest economic engine.

Sole also introduced the micro-suite to Kelowna.

The new building will have some 389-square-foot studio apartments on the fourth floor for sale for $155,000.

That’s up a bit from the $139,000 they sold for in the original Sole, but still quite reasonable considering prices have jumped in the past three years.

Constructing the same building also means some cost savings on Edgecombe’s part, so savings can be passed on to the buyer.

“With 35 of our 40 condos priced under $300,000, we expect a lot of first-time buyers, millennials, empty nesters, seniors and investors to want a piece of the new Sole,” said West.

Besides the small studios, there will also be compact one-bedrooms, one-bedroom-with-den and two-bedroom floor plans.

The larger two-bedroom units will be on the top floor with the best views and will be priced over $300,000.

West said commercial space on the first three floors is expected to be snapped up quickly as soon as it officially goes on sale later this month because there’s already been interest.

In the original Sole, the commercial space is occupied by Peacock Sheridan Financial, Impact Radio and Edgecombe Builders’ offices.

Edgecombe expects to get a development permit for Sole Downtown shortly after the project is presented to city council May 17.

Construction will start immediately after that with sales following quickly — first to past Edgecombe, Epic and Sole clients who have expressed interest, then to people who have inquired and followed up already, and then to the general public in June.

“We expect to sell 50 per cent of everything in the first few weeks,” said West.

Sales were much slower with the first Sole.

However, that was at the tail end of a bad market, and it did eventually sell out because the mid-rise, mixed-use concept downtown was desirable.

Sole Kelowna contained the first condos to be built downtown after the recession of 2008-09.

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