Announcements and Updates

UBCO Downtown project update—April 9, 2024

Starting on Tuesday April 9, UBC Properties Trust will resume work at UBCO Downtown. This will further ensure the stability of the site, and is the last planned adjustment to the excavation depth for the proposed permanent structure. Gravel will be placed and spread throughout the site over the next two weeks, raising the overall depth of excavation.

We are advised by professional engineers that the shoring wall remains stable and that raising the excavation depth will also mitigate future soil settlement on adjacent land, including Hadgraft Wilson Place (HWP). In accordance with City of Kelowna regulatory conditions, work on-site is subject to the City’s approval and regulatory process prior to proceeding. This process requires geotechnical and structural engineering design to be peer-reviewed. The project team continues to remain in contact with both HWP, Pathways and the City of Kelowna regarding construction activities.

This work is expected to take roughly two weeks. Engineering teams will be monitoring soil conditions at the construction site as the activities proceed and will be sharing progress with the City of Kelowna and Pathways leadership.

Past updates and consultations

In light of the City of Kelowna’s order to evacuate the Hadgraft Wilson Place, UBC Properties Trust is voluntarily suspending construction activity on its downtown Kelowna project until further notice.

We know that this is a concerning development for Pathways Abilities Society and its tenants. Our first priority is their safety and wellbeing. We are grateful for their patience and resilience in these challenging circumstances.

UBC Okanagan’s Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Lesley Cormack was at a meeting with the tenants on March 31 to share the latest information from the university.

Given the complex nature of this project, UBC and UBC Properties Trust will take time to study the most recent engineering reports and consult with the city to establish the appropriate next steps. We will share that information as it becomes available.

UBC and UBC Properties Trust are committed to working closely with the city, the Pathways Abilities Society and BC Housing. We are in regular communication with all parties and will provide information and expertise throughout this period.

With construction underway and the design planning in progress, visit the UBCO Downtown 2023 summer update to see what’s envisioned downtown.

On February 7, 2023, UBC Okanagan and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce partnered to the deliver the ‘Meet Your New Neighbours’ event at the Innovation Centre to business and non-profit stakeholders. The event included

  • Introductions by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce
  • A keynote address by Dr. Lesley Cormack, Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UBC Okanagan, where she shared the vision for UBCO Downtown and the anticipated contributions to Kelowna’s business and non-profit sector.
  • Presentations by UBC Okanagan researchers currently engaged in community-based research in the health and wellness sector. Presenters included Dr. Mary Jung, Associate Professor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences and Director of the Centre for Health Behaviour Change, UBC Okanagan; Dr. Shelly Ben-David, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, UBC Okanagan; and Ms. Lauren Airth, Doctoral student, School of Nursing, UBC Okanagan

A public consultation—including an online survey and in-person information session—led by UBC Properties Trust has now concluded. Additional inquiries may be sent to info@ubcproperties.com.

On January 19, 2021 more than 300 people gathered online to explore UBC’s plans for academic programs and research activities at UBCO’s proposed downtown presence.

Watch the recording.

In June 2020, UBC President Santa Ono announced the next major step in the evolution of UBC’s presence in the Okanagan and in its ability to serve the needs of the BC Interior region.

In partnership with UBC Properties Trust, UBC is planning a new building at 550 Doyle Avenue. Once design and approvals are in place, construction is expected to begin in mid 2022.

An expanded downtown Kelowna presence will support both UBC’s and the City of Kelowna’s strategic priorities, including UBC Okanagan’s Outlook 2040 vision for the next 20 years.

Artist rendering of proposed downtown site, including atrium and street view