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Mission Group plans office, condo towers at Kelowna Bernard Block

Mission Group has submitted an updated plan for its Bernard Block master-planned community in Kel...

Image: An artist's rendering of the Bernard Block in downtown Kelowna. An updated proposal for the site includes an officer tower to accompany two condo buildings. (Courtesy Mission Group)

An artist’s rendering of the Bernard Block in downtown Kelowna. An updated proposal for the site includes an office tower to accompany two condo buildings. (Courtesy Mission Group)

Mission Group has submitted an updated plan for its Bernard Block master-planned community in Kelowna, and the revisions include a 13-storey, class-A office tower to accompany a second residential condo building.

The two new buildings would be situated along the 500 block of Bernard Avenue in downtown Kelowna, between St. Paul and Bertram Streets. They would be built adjacent to the 25-storey Brooklyn at Bernard Block approved by the city in August 2018 and now about 70 per cent pre-sold.

Construction on the 178-unit Brooklyn tower is anticipated to begin in March. It features one- and two-bedroom suites and was announced last summer, when the developer unveiled its original plan for three residential towers at the site.

With the permitting process under way, Mission Group hopes to get approvals and begin construction on the two new buildings by early 2020. Completion and tenant possession for the office tower are projected for late 2021.

“Bernard Block is set to become a cornerstone and gateway to our evolving city centre,” said Lisa Lock, the vice-president of development for Mission Group, in a media release. “With excitement and energy building through the tech industry and entrepreneurship, the downtown core has become a sought-after destination for business and residents alike.

“Companies of all sizes are attracted by the amenities that only downtown can offer and we are excited to bring class A-office space into the historic Bernard District.”

Mission Group is not releasing financial details of the project.

Office seeks “premier tenants” for Kelowna

Situated in Kelowna’s central business district at St. Paul St. and Bernard Ave., the commercial office tower is being designed to attract “premier tenants” to Kelowna. It will contain approximately 80,000 square feet of office space, supported by over 18,000 square feet of Bernard Avenue storefront retail.

The office tower is being built on spec, but a Mission spokesman told RENX the company expects “significant interest as there has been very little class-A office space built in downtown over the past couple of decades.”

The timing is also advantageous. According to Colliers International’s Thompson Okanagan Office Market Report for the fourth quarter of 2018, Kelowna’s office vacancy rate is 4.8 per cent, down from 6.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2018.

Mission Group has set up for commercial and retail leasing inquiries and to receive updates on the development.

The proposed residential tower at the corner of Bertram St. and Bernard will feature 217 homes, offering lake views and access to multiple indoor and outdoor amenity spaces.

The tower designs feature distinctive architecture and podiums, and the overall design of Bernard Block builds on themes from the city’s $14-million Bernard Avenue streetscape project.

“Rich with regional and cultural influence, this will be a visually unique design never before seen in the Kelowna skyline,” Lock said in the release.

The Brooklyn tower will be at 1471 St. Paul St. 

The office and second residential tower constitute phase two of the three-phase project. Mission has not yet released details of its final phase.

“We took our time in planning the subsequent phases given the significance of the site and the opportunity it represents,” Mission’s spokesman said in a reply emailed to RENX. “Ultimately, we decided that the mix of residential and office space, along with the active streetfront retail will create a true urban village and will reinvent this side of the Bernard District.”

About Mission Group

Headquartered in Kelowna, Mission Group has been in business for about 15 years. It specializes in residential and commercial real estate development and construction.

Mission Group is also involved in several other projects in the region, including an expansive residential community at the University of British Columbia Okanagan site near the Kelowna airport. 

It recently gained approval to build the final phase, U-Eight, which will soon start selling a mix of studios,  one-, two-, and three-bedroom condos. The three-storey building will contain 90 units. Mission Group has already constructed six condo and two rental residential buildings at the project.

The company has won numerous awards and accolades in recent years for its projects. Recent honours include the UDI Pacific Region Award for Excellence in the ‘Best of the Okanagan’ category for Central Green in 2018.

Mission Group was also named a finalist for the 2019 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence in the ‘Mid- to High-Rise Condominium or Apartment Projects (Planned)’ category for both ELLA and Brooklyn at Bernard Block.


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