For design updates & information on the most recent Development Permit/Development Variance Permit Applications, please go to Planning & Design section.
350 Doyle Avenue is the former downtown Kelowna RCMP precinct property, in the heart of Kelowna’s Cultural District.
In 2020, the development team of Appelt Properties (previously RISE Commercial Developments) and Wexford Developments was selected by the City of Kelowna as the successful proponent to lease and develop the property.
In November of 2021, City of Kelowna Council provided 3rd reading for a rezoning bylaw that changes the property use from P1 (Major Institutional) to C7r (Central Business Commercial - Residential Rental Tenure Only). The architectural and urban design elements of MUSE (350 DOYLE) project will contribute to The City of Kelowna’s overall vision for its downtown core and Civic Precinct. The proposed mixed-use program includes the 6,000 ft² Kelowna Arts Hub (cultural use), active commercial retail uses at grade, supported by commercial office space on the 2nd floor, and further supported by 259 rental residential units in the tower above. We believe that this mixed-use program will provide a vibrant and active urban development in Kelowna’s growing urban core.
Future Zoning (UC1r Downtown Urban Centre – Rental Only): The draft Kelowna Zoning Bylaw has identified that the new zoning will be UC1r once officially approved and adopted. The purpose of this new zoning aligns with the current C7r zoning, in that “the purpose of this zone is to designate and to preserve land for developments of the financial, retail and entertainment, governmental, cultural and civic core of the downtown while also encouraging high density mixed-use buildings.
In total, the design concept contributes significantly to the City's vision for the Cultural District and the neighbourhood, and forms the basis of the formal Rezoning and the updated Development Permit & Development Variance Permit Applications.
For design updates and information on the most recent Development Permit/Development Variance Permit Applications, please go to Planning & Design section.
Arts and Culture
The vision of the Kelowna Art Walk extension is to create a world class, flexible and active public space that provides year-round opportunities for a variety of events, supporting the local arts community. In addition, the Art Walk extension will provide Kelowna with its first pedestrian-oriented retail experience. To achieve this exciting vision for the Kelowna Art Walk extension, international design firm Design Workshop have been engaged as Landscape Architect designers. Design Workshop has a history of creating world-class public spaces of different scales around the world and have the experience and knowledge to support the creation of an iconic landmark for the Civic Precinct and Kelowna community. The Art Walk extension between MUSE (350 Doyle) and the Kelowna Performing Arts Complex has the potential to become Kelowna's next premier public space. We have an opportunity to build onto the dynamism of Kelowna's incredible summer energy while also extending downtown's seasonal use and functionality - to create a memorable place that is inviting to locals and visitors alike. The design approach to the extension is focused on 'people', acknowledging how great public space begins with an understanding of what will encourage lingering, socialization and ultimately the feeling of a comfortable urban environment. This is achieve by designing for the human scale and experience by composing spaces that encourage visitors to find prospect, refuge and moments to gather. Building on the City's previous planning efforts for the space, the proposed design for the Art Walk is comprised of two main components: the promenade and the plaza.
A key component - and one of the most exciting pieces of this proposal - will be the construction of the southward extension of the City's ArtWalk, completeing the pedestrian connection from Queensway to Doyle Avenue. The ArtWalk extension will include cafes, restaurants and a civic plaza that connects directly with the Creative Hub (housed within the development and also part of this proposal).
The ArtWalk will serve as much more than a walkway. It will provide a community space where Kelowna residents can experience a pleasant walk or sit and enjoy a coffee dring in one of the many cafes and restaurants lining the ArtWalk.
The ArtWalk can also become a venue for community events (fashion shows, art exhibits, galas, outdoor markets). We will continue to work with the City of Kelowna and communit stakeholders on the vision and design of the ArtWalk extension which will be completed in conjunction with construction of the building.
The plaza is an expansive and multifunctional area at the nexus of Smith Avenue and the existing Art Walk. Here, at the intersection of these two axes, a future art installation is contemplated, acting as both a beacon to attract people into the space and providing shade for the plaza throughout summer months. The plaza is built for flexibility, providing space for large gatherings, summer concerts and farmers markets and, when not being used for events, an informal playscape for young families in the region.
Community Creative Hub
Another key aspect of our proposal is the creation of a cultural community space - the Creative Hub - near the northwest corner of the site and adjacent to the civic plaza. This 6,000 square foot space will be prominent and highly inviting to the community and will become home to a variety of art and performance groups that will be fully programmed and operated by the City of Kelowna.
The proposed project embodies the true intent of mixed-use development, introducing new commerce, residents and services and restaurants to the site and into the very heart of downtown Kelowna.
There is a rental housing shortage across all of Kelowna. This shortage is even more pronounced within the downtown core where purpose-built housing has not been developed in decades. Much of the new development in the downtown is focused on condominiums or short-term rentals which does not provide a stable solution to the housing crisis and will not provide a long-term rental solution for tenants. Our proposal for MUSE will provide 259 units of permanent rental housing that will not be available as short-term rentals. Adding these new rental housing units to the downtown core will not fix our housing crisis but will certainly help.
A common question we receive is “Will your units be rented as short-term rentals?” The answer is NO. The units will be rented to long-term tenants only.
The building will be constructed in concrete, making it the first large concrete rental project to be built in Kelowna in over 40 years. This will create additional inventory of quality, long-term rental options for people who want to live in the downtown core. The future of rental housing is changing. The new renter expects a greater range of features and amenities. The project will feature a wide range of amenities for residents including:
Indoor: In-suite laundry, community kitchen & dining area, office/workspaces, fitness/workout gym, yoga/meditation spaces, theatre/games room
Outdoor: large 6th floor amenity deck overlooking the ArtWalk with lounging, eating and socializing areas, top floor amenity deck with expansive lake views, pet space and wash facility
Housing Mix: 60 x 2-bedroom units; 99 x 1-bedroom units; and 100 x studio units
MUSE will provide sufficient parking to meet the bylaw requirements for all of the proposed uses. The proposal includes a 20-story residential tower atop a five story, two-tiered podium - housing parking required to support the program. A total of approximately 204 stalls will be accommodated within the podium and another 5 surface stalls accessible from the lane. Secured bicycle parking and end-of-trip facilities will also be provided.
Based on neighbourhood input, the updated proposal for MUSE replaces the previous 13-story midrise building with a 25-story highrise building. The main benefit of the highrise format is the reduction in floorplate areas and accompanying 'bulk'. The taller, slimmer format enables less shadowing, more light and view retention for neighbouring properties.
The Look & Feel
Considering the location of this project in the centre of the Cultural district, we wanted to pay homage to Kelowna’s history within the downtown core while adding chic, modern elements. The brick façade design that you see on the podium is taken from Laurel Packing House, the oldest of its kind in BC. The bricks on the packing house are unique to Kelowna and actually come from Knox Mountain clay. While this brickyard is long gone, we are committed to finding a match that makes the podium feel like it was built in the same era as Laurel Packing House. The residential component that sits on top of the podium will elegantly contrast the podium by providing a clean modern aesthetic that will fit nicely within Kelowna’s urban landscape.
The Doyle Avenue frontage will have a streetscape with wider sidewalks, more landscaping and retail storefronts tastefully set into a brick façade that is modern and appealing, while being harmonious with historic buildings in the downtown area.
The ArtWalk will provide connectivity between the Kelowna Community Theatre to the South and the Rotary Centre for the Arts and Prospera Place to the north. At the north end of the site the ArtWalk will connect to the Creative Hub and southward to Doyle. Thus, once completed, the ArtWalk will provide a unique pedestrian connection to four of the Cultural District’s main venues. The retail space along the ArtWalk is designed to create a culinary destination to complement these cultural venues. The retail spaces will house cafés and restaurants with opportunities for large openings that will blur the line between indoor and outdoor socializing and dining.
Above: Precedent Image of Similar Retail
To the north, on the pedestrian-oriented Smith Avenue, the podium level will accommodate the community Creative Hub space with an exterior plaza transitioning to Smith Avenue.
A small number of surface parking stalls, the parkade entrance and the loading and support areas for the project are accessed from the lane to the east.
In summary, the podium and ground-plane areas include:
- A 6,000-square-foot Creative Hub (to be managed and programmed by the City of Kelowna);
- A new civic plaza;
- An extension of the ArtWalk 'promenade', southward to Doyle Avenue;
- Ground floor retail space along the ArtWalk and Doyle Avenue frontages, accommodating food, beverage and retail tenants;
- Second floor office space; and
- 3 levels of fully-contained, podium parking and an additional 5 surface stalls.