Mash up Ellis and Lawrence and you get ELLA.

It's the name of the 20-storey condominium tower proposed to go up at the northwest corner of Ellis Street and Lawrence Avenue in downtown Kelowna.

"ELLA will be a glass highrise with modern concrete condos, all with views, in a quintessential downtown Kelowna location one block off Bernard Avenue so people can walk to shopping, restaurants, entertainment and the lake," said Luke Turri of Mission Group, the company developing the tower.

Views are guaranteed because all of the 116 condos will be the sixth floor and higher.

The ground floor will be retail and levels two through five will be parking.

Mission Group is a prolific builder in Kelowna and is currently developing four-storey condos at Central Green and Sienna at Sarsons and a series of U condo and rental buildings adjacent to UBC Okanagan.

However, ELLA will be Mission Group's first highrise.

The prime downtown site lent itself to a dramatic design with height, according to Turri.

Mission Group expects to start construction early next year for completion in 2020.

A high-profile sales centre has already been set up at the corner of Bernard Avenue and Ellis Street, just a block from the development site.

However, prices haven't been set yet for the one-bedroom, two-bedroom and two-bedroom-with-den units.

ELLA will be part of a highrise boom downtown.

The 21-storey 1151 Sunset Drive condo tower is well under construction.

Westcorp has a proposal for a 24-floor hotel beside Kerry Park.

North American Development group wants to build the city's two tallest buildings at Water Street and Sunset Drive – 27-and-35-storey condo towers.

And R.G. Properties would like to put up a 14-storey condo beside its Prospera Place arena.


Thinking outside the box has earned Valley First Credit Union's David Kropp the National Young Leaders Award from the Canadian Credit Union Association.

Kropp, the communications and public relations director at Penticton-based Valley First, picked up the accolade at the association's annual conference in Halifax.

"I've benefitted from working with experienced leaders who have encouraged and empowered me to think differently about business challenges," said Kropp.

"I owe a lot to the people around me who have enabled me to excel in my career."

Kropp's presentation on how he incorporates trying new things, innovation and collaboration into his work particularly impressed judges.

Kropp also won a $10,000 education scholarship.


More people move on June 30 than any other day of the year.

And Kelowna-based BigSteelBox wants those people to be ready with the myriad of moving options and tips it offers.

BigSteelBox can drop off a container for you to pack at your own pace and then, when you're ready, BigSteelBox will pick up the packed container and deliver it to your new address, whether it's local or across the country.

BigSteelBox has also identified the five biggest move stressors – ensuring belongings are safe, not having enough time to pack, move-out and move-in dates that don't match, financial strain and deciding what to move, what to store and what to toss.

If your move-out and move-in dates don't jive, BigSteelBox can also rent you a container to store your belongs for as long as you need or want.

About 1.6 million Canadian families move every year.

Thirteen per cent of them pick June because it's easier to move in the summer and the kids are out of school.

One-third of June moves fall on the 30th, which is convenient for wrapping up a month at your old place and starting a new one at your next place.


Fort Saskatchewan may have the Wheat Province in its name, but the town of 25,000 is actually in Alberta, 25 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

It's where the new general manager of the Vernon Chamber of Commerce is coming from.

Dione Chambers has been executive director of the Fort Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce for the past six years.

During her tenure it won Alberta Chamber of the Year in its member-size category and Chambers picked up Alberta Chamber Executive of the Year in 2016.

Chambers starts her new job July 17.

She replaces Dan Rogers, who has just started his new job as executive director of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.


West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater gives his state of the city address Thursday at a Greater Westside Board of Trade lunch at the Cove Resort.

Such a speech is new in area because although the region became the Westside District Municipality in 2007, the West Kelowna name didn't officially become the name until 2009 and city status came in 2015.

Purchase tickets to the lunch for $30 by calling the board of trade at 250-768-3378.


Three Okanagan truckers have been elected to the 2017-18 B.C. Trucking Association board of directors.

Mike Bissell works out of the Vernon office of Langley Freight Lines.

Derek Norman owns DSN Transport in Kelowna.

And Jordan Wilson is from Hawkeye Holdings in Kelowna.

The association represents more than 1,200 truck and motor coach fleets in the province who operate more than 13,000 vehicles, employ 26,000 people and generate over $2 million in annual revenue.


Steve MacNaull is The Okanagan Weekend's business reporter and columnist. Reach him at