Downtown Abuzz with Interest
Demolition of the former Enterprise buildingat Queensway and Patricia, another City owned property being prepared for ‘future development” photo courtesy City of PG.
Prince George, B.C. – Should the referendum on building a new Four Seasons Pool and Fire Hall #1 be approved, the existing buildings on the current sites would be demolished and the properties prepared for possible future development.
That may be good news in the long run as there is growing interest in developing downtown.
The City is already seeing interest in development of at least three of the other numerous properties it owns in the downtown core.
Development interest is being explored for the following properties:
- the block on 6th Avenue between Quebec and Dominion ,
- the site on the north side of 3rd Avenue which was the home to the Columbus Hotel which burned down several years ago, and
- the property at George and 6th avenue which was the former home of Norgate Auto body, and at one time was the preferred site for a performing arts centre.
250News has learned the developments being considered are mixed use, with residential and commercial operations. That may be in large part due to the incentives being offered by the City, and a grant that is available through Northern Development Initiative Trust which provides $10 thousand dollars per residential unit. Couple that grant with the tax incentives offered by the City and developers are seeing the downtown as very attractive indeed.
The proceeds of the sale of any of those properties could be used to offset some of the costs associated with the development of a new pool or fire hall, providing one or both are approved by the electorate.
The pool has an estimated cost of $35 million, with another $6 million estimated for the purchase of the site ( Days Inn at Quebec and 7th) and the demolition of the old fire hall and old Four Seasons pool.
There are a couple of other buildings owned by the City which were not demolished when tenants move to their new locations.
The old 4th Avenue yard , east of Queensway, used to be the site for the public works department, but since that department moved into its new location at 18th and Ospika, the old yard has been rented out to a number of tenants. That property is generating revenue for the City.
The former RCMP building on Brunswick is another site which was vacated when a new facility was built. It had been used as the volunteer centre during the Canada Winter Games but since then, it has acted as a storage site. That building has been viewed by potential buyers and renters, but the City hasn’t been able to close a deal on that property yet. It is expected a request for proposals for that building will be issued early in the new year.
The downtown in Prince George has changed dramatically over the past five years, with the addition of new restaurants, a brewery, the Wood Innovation and Design Centre, and a planned comedy club. Facades have been upgraded, and there is work being done to develop student housing in the area, although details on that pursuit are far from being made public.