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Developer wants to keep highrises away from waterfront

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Landowner Albert Weisstock has unveiled a proposal to build highrises and smaller buildings near Cedar and Meikle avenues in the South Pandosy area.
A major new development proposed for a lakeside neighbourhood shows a tower of 24 storeys flanked by a dozen low- and medium-rise buildings.
The ambitious project would be built on about four acres of land centred around the intersection of Cedar and Meikle avenues in the South Pandosy neighbourhood.
It would include hundreds of residential suites, commercial premises at street level, and a boutique hotel.
"I believe the time has come for a project like this," landowner and developer Albert Weisstock said Monday. "Our philosophy is to keep the foreshore
100 per cent parkland, and push the density back from the waterfront."
Personally and through his family-owned company, Weisstock has been buying land in the area for more than a decade.
The neighbourhood is attractive from a development point of view, he said, given its close proximity to both Okanagan Lake and the busy shopping area of South Pandosy.
Where people might have once objected to such high-density development near the water, Weisstock believes most now accept such projects can create a vibrant and interesting neighbourhood while preserving and enhancing public access along the lakeshore.
"South Pandosy is a great canvas," he said. "I think a development like this really is the future of the area."
Weisstock is among 33 members of a charrette, or volunteer planning team, assembled by the City of Kelowna to look at the future of the area around Cedar Avenue.
The charrette will hold its first of three consecutive meetings today. Weisstock was invited by the city to join the charrette because he is a major landowner in the area being studied.
His development plans are currently conceptual in nature, and would require city approvals that include zoning changes and height variances. If all approvals are eventually given, he anticipates build-out would take between five and 10 years.
The city owns seven waterfront lands north of Cedar Avenue, and four waterfront lots immediately south of Cedar. In Weisstock's conceptual plan, the city lots are shown as being converted to parkland.
The city has had plans to sell the upland portion of the municipal lots north of Cedar to allow for some residential and commercial development.
Weisstock says if that ends up being the approach taken by the city, it could jeopardize the viability of his own development proposal.
"I don't know why the city sees its role as being in competition with private sector developers," he said. "In my plan, all the city land is kept as park, and the city would get about a million dollars by selling us a part of Meikle Avenue. It would be a win-win for everybody."

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