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Duncan council green-lights green residential development
Kenneth Park owner Brant Weninger, left, discusses the development with prospective buyer Bob Langelo.
Construction of Duncan’s most green building, Kenneth Park, starts in September. Brant Weninger’s $5-million, residential-commercial project on Kenneth Street, sitting roughly between the Arbutus Café and Volume One Bookstore — recently received a development permit from city council. The four-story place with a redbrick base, plus solar-heated hot water, geo-thermal heating and cooling, storm water management, rainwater harvesting, and more could take a year to build. “I’m looking to promote downtown and this gets people living downtown,” said Councillor Joe Thorne. “This project’s at step in the right direction and it’s as green as possible.” Weninger applauded council for its support after months of frustration working with staff to land 16-unit, rooftop-gardened Kenneth Park its green light. “The challenge was the staff — I don’t know why,” he said. “We butted heads on lots of issues.” Rubs included impact of the marble-pillar building on sidewalk accesses and other planning details. “All in all, a few councillors turned the tables,” Weninger said. The commercially zoned, 20,000-square-foot building allows commercial and residential use in 10 of its 16 units where eco-paints and glues have been used. “It’s live where you work,” he said, noting strata units could allow operations such as accounting and medical therapy. Once of all his open-plan suites are sold — prices span $199,900 to $369,900 — Kenneth Park could house some 40 more people populating the core, which is council’s goal. “The tax base is huge,” he said. Four commercial units occupy the ground floor where Weninger is installing three art works in concert with council’s arts policy urging public art in new developments. Pieces will depict Duncan’s heritage train station, prime minister Sir John. A. Macdonald who promised citizens a rail station, and the city’s first mayor Kenneth Duncan. Weninger was also wild about Kenneth’s secure, underground parking for 16 vehicles, plus bike storage. It all sounded cool to potential suite-purchaser Bob Langelo. “We really like thee idea,” he said of smoke-free Kenneth Park’s architecturally green appeal. He cheered Weninger’s use of solar panels and non-toxic materials. “Those things should be part of the building code.” For more, call 250-715-3011.