The North Gateway is one of the main points of entry to the city, off Hwy 97 from the north, and encompasses some of the community's major entertainment facilities. The vision of this redevelopment project is to create a connected, complete sustainable destination that captures and celebrates Penticton's natural beauty, sports excellence, events and festivals while adding to the economic vitality, housing diversity and local fare.
To achieve this vision, the plan identifies goals and strategies to address the need for diverse and affordable housing, provide tourist accommodation, expand available commercial space, protect the tree canopy, maintain park land, activate the public realm, and improve mobility through addressing parking needs and enhancing cycling, pedestrian and transit infrastructure.
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.
Focused around the entertainment / cultural hub of the South Okanagan Event Centre, Penticton Trade & Convention Centre, Cleland Theatre, the casino and the community centre, the North Gateway Plan envisions a future to support the over $200 million of existing public investment with new recreation facilities, 350+ new hotel rooms, up to 2,250 new housing units, almost 30,000 square feet of new commercial space, as well as the addition of two new ice surfaces and expanded convention space.
The North Gateway Redevelopment and Investment Strategy ensures a coordinated approach can be taken to land use, infrastructure needs and economic investment opportunities. The City has invested heavily in public facilities over the last 10 years in the area. Those investments have a significant economic impact in the community and are paying dividends with surrounding developments beginning to take advantage of them.
New hotel investment to support the Convention Centre and the development of two new arenas in the area will continue to have a positive economic impact in the community. These entertainment and event facilities have a significant impact in our shoulder season by bringing in visitors from across the country and throughout North America, building upon what Penticton already has with its incredibly busy summer months.
This project highlights the benefits of civic investment in entertainment-based infrastructure to support our local and regional economy. There were significant risks going into the development of these facilities; however, with a long-term plan now developed for the surrounding area, new development and public infrastructure can feed of this historical public investment to continue enhancing Penticton's reputation as an outstanding place to not only visit, but live, work and play.
For a city of 37,000, the magnitude of these facilities is significant and warranted the investment in the development of the investment strategy that surrounds the facilities. Penticton's North Gateway Plan - walkable, vibrant, and resilient - is a model for other small cities in British Columbia as it combines economic development with progressive planning and urban design. We are well into implementation with a number of projects complete and upcoming over the next 1-2 years.