Nelson squash club now without a home
After 28 years at 330 Baker Street, Nelson’s squash club will be without a home.
The club — which is involved in the Downtown Athletic Club proposed for the Civic Theatre — was unable to reach an agreement with the current landlord.
“We were notified by the landlord that he basically wanted to take over half of the third floor space that we had been occupying,” said Pat Hodgson with the squash club.
“He was going to take over what was the women’s change room and lounge area and leave us with the courts and what he referred to as a co-ed change room which was previously the men’s change room and an entrance.
“Faced with the loss of 50 per cent of our space and a 30 per cent increase in rent, we just could not agree to terms with the landlord so we could not secure a lease As of September 1 we no longer have a home.”
The squash club has now ramped up their efforts behind the Downtown Athletic Club, asking their members to come forward with interest free loans.
“The response to that request has been phenomenal,” said Hodgson.
“We are well on our way to being prepared to have a fully funded project when the [City of Nelson’s] October 15 deadline comes around. Suffice it to say that within 48 hours of our request for our members, we had received more than half of our goal,” he said.
“We are certainly buoyed by that commitment from our membership and they are prepared to step up in a big way to make this project go ahead. We’re going to be speaking with lenders about financing the project.”
The club is working towards having a solidified proposal by the October 15 deadline given to the Nelson Civic Theatre Society who are working on their proposal to have a theatre return to the community.
Hodgson said he is hoping the City is ready to make a decision about the Theatre Society’s proposal in October.
If they continue to defer, the Downtown Athletic Club will “more than likely” pull its proposal off the table and look at other options.
The landlord of 330 Baker Street is offering use of the remaining courts, but Hodgson emphasized that the squash club is no longer part of the facility and players will be dealing solely with the landlord.