Highrises

Three highrises are planned for the first block of Leon Avenue in downtown Kelowna. The proposal, from a Vancouver company that resells tickets to sports events, is now being considered by Kelowna municipal planners.

A company that resells tickets to sports events has plans for highrises in downtown Kelowna.

Venue Kings says it would like to build three towers — one of 36 storeys — on a portion of long-blighted Leon Avenue.

Plans filed with the city show a total of 600 residential units as well as a 216-room hotel. A pedestrian bridge across Leon Avenue would connect the towers.

“This proposal will be a positive contribution to our community by allowing more housing and commercial opportunities and allowing densification in an area which is within the downtown core and its associated amenities,” reads part of the application letter submitted by Penticton architect Robert Cesnik on behalf of Venue Kings.

The company was founded in Vancouver in 2010. It specializes in reselling previously purchased tickets to sports events.

To proceed as planned, city councillors would have to approve variances relating to height and parking requirements.

The company bought several properties along Leon Avenue in 2018, according to BC Assessment, with a collective value of several million dollars.

Part of the company’s website reads: “Founded in 2009 on the heels of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Venue Kings is now the top ticket broker in Canada and competes with the best in the United States. Founder and CEO Anthony Beyrouti built Venue Kings from the ground up on his passion for sports and the long-term vision of a successful company.”

The first block of Leon Avenue, where Kelowna’s Gospel Mission is located, has long been associated with homelessness. Last fall, a large tent city developed on its sidewalks before the city opened two parks in the downtown north end to overnight tenting.