GARY BARNES | from Kelowna Cap News

It appears that plans for a wine destination centre for downtown Kelowna have been corked.

Proposed for a historic building, the former home of the Kelowna Courier, at 1570-1580 Water Street (between Bernard and Lawrence avenues), the project features a wine bar, wine shop, tasting room, lounge, rooftop deck as well as interpretive and education centres.

The Courier occupied the building until 1957, and after that, it was home to several businesses, including a Keg restaurant.

The only original part of the building still standing is its facade.

Work on the site was started in 2020 but came to a halt in 2021, and the city was advised last year that plans were being put on hold. A construction crane still remains on the site.

“The only activity that is currently occurring is that we’ll see the crane dismantled in the months ahead,” said Ryan Smith, director of planning and development services at the city. “The owners are working on a new concept for the site that they will bring back to the city when it’s ready for the development review process.”

During a public hearing for the project in June 2020, council asked if a local winery group was behind the development.

A representative for Fox Architecture, who was involved with the project, confirmed it was but added he had not been instructed to share which winery.

Several councillors expressed concern over what they saw as a lack of detail about the development but were excited to see it move forward.