Penticton’s North Gateway. (Photo- City of Penticton)

Penticton’s North Gateway. (Photo- City of Penticton)

Penticton implements ‘bold plan’ for first-ever live, work, play neighbourhood

The North Gateway will be divided into three districts and include a festival boulevard

Penticton’s North Gateway is set to become the city’s first neighbourhood where people can live, work, shop and play all within a 15-minute walking radius.

Significant changes are officially coming to the northwest area of the city, after council approved an over-year-long project on July 5 that has previously been described as “bold, ambitious and forward-thinking.”

Up to 350 new hotel rooms, 2,250 residential units, 30,000 square feet of commercial space, as well as the addition of two new ice surfaces are among the changes called for in the plan.

The area — best known for being home to the South Okanagan Events Centre and Penticton Trade and Convention Centre — currently serves as tourists’ “first impression” of the city.

“This is a plan that offers a vision for an exciting and vibrant area for residents to live, work and play and comes after much consultation with the community about what they want to see here,” said mayor John Vassilaki.

Per the plan, Penticton’s northwest area will be divided into three districts: South District, North District and Central District, with each of the sections serving a different purpose in the economic development strategy.

The addition of Festival Boulevard, as well as a new “Welcome to Penticton” sign will also be implemented.

Anthony Haddad, the city’s general manager of community services, presented the a final draft of the plan on Tuesday, in an effort to get council’s final stamp of approval.

“We have a number of projects underway in the area and we’re really excited to get to this point in the process,” Haddad said. “This is after a long engagement period with the community.”

Dubbed as Penticton’s “first 15-minute neighbourhood,” city staff have been directed by council to start work on the plan’s most significant items.

“The strategy includes plans for boutique shops, wide multi-use paths, tree-lined streets, a variety of housing types, hotels and entertainment and recreation amenities, with the goal of creating the city’s first 15-minute neighborhood,” representatives from the city said.

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