Old BCGEU building eyed for future parking lot

The former BC Government and Service Employees’ Union building in Fort St. John is being readied for demolition.

Northwest Properties, which owns the building at 10251-100 Street, says it plans to redevelop the property into a parking lot to meet retailer needs in the downtown. 

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The company is working its way through the city's development permitting process. Chris Menchions, vice-president of development and construction, couldn't put a timeline on how soon the building could be demolished and the parking lot built.

Northwest owns the North Gate Mall with Save-On Foods and Shoppers as well as the North Gate Place plaza next to the old BCGEU building. It's hoping to attract a retailer to fill 6,700 sq. ft. of space left by Tervita after it downsized to a smaller unit at North Gate Place, also home to BMO and Dominos.

Converting the old Tervita space into retail made sense as there's "limited demand for office space," Menchions said.

"A primary concern of retailers in this size category is parking and as such by purchasing the BCGEU property and replacing the building with a parking lot, the former Tervita space would become desirable for retail uses and enhance the retail synergies between (the two properties)," Menchions said.

"We are of course hopeful that by bringing retail back to this large vacant space, it will assist in maintaining this part of the downtown area as a vibrant part of the community."

The company isn't yet in a position to talk about tenant recruitment, Menchions said.

There are two vacant units in North Gate Place. Leasing documents show it will be home to a future government-owned BC Cannabis Store.

The BCGEU moved into a new, $5-million building at 100 Avenue and 102 Street in 2017.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

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