Westcorp

Revised plans for a Kelowna tower, first approved by the city five years ago, now show it being five-metres shorter and having a different mix of residential and hotel suites.

Some design modifications have been made to a downtown Kelowna hotel that was first approved by the city five years ago.

Edmonton-based Westcorp has submitted an application to slightly change the look of the hotel and residential tower it says it is still committed to building at the base of Queensway.

"It is our hope that council will be pleased with the changes, and we look forward to moving on to the sale of the residential units in the spring," Gail Temple, a company vice-president, said in a release.

A previous plan showed 174 hotel rooms and 40 luxury residential suites. Now, the plan is for 185 hotel rooms and between 50 and 65 suites.

As well, the tower's height has been reduced by 4.6 metres, to 126 metres, and the design of the podium has been re-jigged in a way the company says fits better with the streetscape.

A restaurant was to have been built on the 17th floor, but that's now been shifted to the 18th floor, and the number of stalls in the parkade has been increased from 295 to 331.

To support planned sales of the residential units, the company plans to open a demonstration and marketing centre on Bernard Avenue next year. However, there is still no firm date for the start of construction.

The project was originally approved by the city in 2014 as consisting of all hotel rooms. But Westcorp couldn't get financing for that model, and in February 2018 got the city's approval for a revised plan that include dozens of luxury residential suites.

Ironically, that approval came on the day the NDP government announced a new speculation tax that dampened demand for the high-end properties planned to be part of Westcorp's tower.