Kelowna, British Columbia
Photo Credit: PC Urban
Initial Research by: Desiree Theriault
Edited by: Samantha Miller & Nicole Brekelmans
Case study compiled in 2017
Project: Brandt's Creek Crossing
Type of Urban Strategy: Industrial Landscapes, Green Cities
Type of Project: Remediation / Brownfield redevelopment
Location: Kelowna, British Columbia
Date Designed/Planned: 1995
Construction Completed: 2000
Designer: Canada Lands Company Limited
The project looks at remediating the old CN Rail Yards that came at a crossroad between downtown Kelowna and the old Brandt Creek. The developers aimed to reinvigorate the area by restoring the small creek and creating an iconic neighbourhood that would strive to remediate the landscape of the former industrial train site.
Today the Brandt Creek Crossing neighbourhood is one of the most iconic communities in Kelowna and has been one of the stepping stones in brownfield redevelopment (CMHC, 2006).
One of the significant confluences of Kelowna’s downtown is where the old CN Rail Yards and the flowing Brandt Creek used to meet. The Canada Lands Company Limited (CLC) acquired this land in 1995 with the mission to create a brand new, vibrant, pedestrian-friendly and mixed-use neighbourhood that would enhance the downtown area and restore the once flowing creek.
An extensive and comprehensive analysis of the soil was required to redevelop the site and fufill the vision. One of the major challenges was finding a way to properly restore and save the creek without causing extensive damages to the current site. The design called for a 1.8-hectare ‘stream protection corridor’ that would provide ample room for the creek to free flow once more.
Brandt Creek has become an impactful design on the City of Kelowna, providing a brand-new identity to the developments of brownfield sites (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Company, 2006).
The funding distribution for the project is as follows:
$100,000 towards Sunset Park
$2.4 million towards servicing costs
$1 million towards Brandt’s Creek
$1 million towards a walkway between Sunset Park and Brandt’s Creek walkway.
The project was funded only partially by the City. CLC developers privately financed the rest (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Company, 2006).
PROJECT BACKGROUND AND HISTORY
It was in 1997 that the Canadian Lands Company began to remediate the contaminated soils of the former CN rail yards and restored the Brandt creek. The site is adjacent to downtown Kelowna and is within the vicinity of the Cultural District. With these aspects in mind, it was necessary that CLC provided a new neighbourhood master plan that would captivate and attract Kelowna’s population to a more vibrant and active waterfront.
As remediation completed in 2002, CLC began to plan and divide section portions of the land in keeping with the surrounding context. Over 8.4 hectares of the land is dedicated to mixed-use neighbourhood development, including introducing industrial, office, commercial, parks and a hotel site that run along the Brandt Creek.
CLC has currently consulted with Cascadia Pacific to begin the first phase of the residential development. This first phase envisions the community of Brandt’s Creek Crossing as an ‘icon.’ The extensive landscaping and greenery that will be injected into the community will create one of Kelowna’s most exclusive, vibrant, beautiful neighbourhoods.
GOAL OF THE PROJECT
The goal of Brand Creek revolved around:
-Rejuvenate Brandt Creek and engage a vibrant healthy community.
-Creating a green park that activates the communities
-Clean up the contaminated brownfields to develop an ecologically sound, green, and sustainable neighbourhood
-Provide affordable housing with multiple public amenities surrounding
DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, AND DECISION MAKING PROCESS
Due to the extensive contamination of the industrial site, it was necessary that CLC produced a strategic and comprehensive remediation plan. This plan involved looking at an ‘Area Structure Plan’ for the site that would detail the level of planning required by the City of Kelowna. The process included a detailed plan of rezoning the extents of the site, subdividing areas for the City’s approval, Development and Design guidelines to be established as a framework for the project schedule, and extensive analysis and report of the contaminated soil on site (Ciccozzi Architecture, 2017).
The first phase of the project began in 2000, where the CLC dedicated two years into remediating the heavy metals and contaminated brown soils of the site. The challenging task of removing the contaminated soils took longer than expected, even requiring some additional funding to complete the process. The completion of the entire brownfield site remediation happened in 2002. Throughout the process, CLC also wanted to restore the small creek that once flowed through the site. The construction crew established a 1.8-hectare corridor that would provide the stream with ample room to flow freely without being obstructed by the surrounding future neighbourhood, to salvage the creek (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Company, 2006).
The second phase of the project involved the completion of the Official Community Master plan, which aims to increase the residential development of the downtown area and runs along the edge of Brandt Creek. The plan included a large green park at that would provide residents and downtown Kelowna with a formal green space, a community village and mixed-use buildings.
Currently, the construction of the master plan is underway.
ROLE OF DESIGNERS
"Landscaped open space:
-0.2 hectare (0.5 acres) (Sunset Park) in addition to the
1.8 hectare (4.4 acres) stream protection corridor.
-Condominium units: $235,000 to $509,000
-Townhomes: $500,000+ (sold out).
-No rental units are planned.
Non-residential uses, plans include:
-1.7 hectares (4.27 acres) for commercial use (e.g., hotel).
-1.6 hectares (3.87 acres) for office use.
-1.5 hectares (3.73 acres) for industrial use."
(Canadian Mortgage and Housing Company, 2006)