Skip to content

BUSINESS BUZZ: Jim Pattison buys Chahko Mika Mall

Plus, affordable housing still hurting, new room for blooms
Rebecca Scheller has opened up a new flower shop at 564 Ward St. Some of the stock at Aster and Bliss will come from her micro-flower farm in Appledale. Scheller always wanted to be a florist, so after 20-plus years working for the provincial government, she said, “If not now, when?” Aster and Bliss is open Tuesday through Saturday. Photo: Darren Davidson

by Darren Davidson

The Buzz starts out this month on a big ol’ boat.

Not just any boat, but the 150-foot, $25-million Nova Spirit super yacht owned by one of Canada’s most successful and wealthy fellas, B.C. tycoon Jim Pattison. That’s where Chahko Mika Mall property manager Alex Dudley found herself last month, on a team-building dinner cruise with reps from JP Developments, a division of the Pattison Group, who’ve owned the mall since the end of November last year.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Dudley. “Pretty surreal, and definitely an honour to be invited.”

The Nova Spirit, which sleeps 12, has hosted former U.S. President George Bush, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Oprah Winfrey, and stars including Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.

JP Developments is one of the Pattison Group’s smaller 25 divisions, including those in forestry, media, agriculture, automotive and packaging.

Dudley, who’s been with the mall for nine years, says Pattison’s Chahko Mika pick-up is great news for the city, and the mall, after 12 or so years under the ownership of Toronto-based RioCan.

“They’re looking at investing in properties where they have a stake,” Dudley says, noting that RioCan is real estate investment trust company focusing on retail realty as a place to park investment dollars. The Pattison Group on the other hand, which owns Save-On-Foods, is investing in a variety of property improvements, that will happen as the mall makes room for some new tenants. There are currently three empty leases.

“There are definitely changes coming in the tenant mix,” Dudley says. “Those will be obvious in the next couple of months. And in a year or so it’ll look quite a bit different.”


Speaking of the real estate market, June saw an all-time demand for affordable housing, despite the fact that inventory is slowly increasing after a long supply drought.

“But there’s still a segment of the market that’s not available to meet certain buyers’ needs due to the high cost of lending,” says Interior Realtors president Chelsea Mann.

There were 303 sales in the Kootenay and Boundary last month, with 569 new listings — all about average for June numbers, pre-pandemic. We usually see a spike in May, followed by a lull.

Mann says the BC Interior could be closer to recovery than other real estate markets in the province. The benchmark price for single-family homes and condominiums here saw minor decreases of 0.9 per cent and 0.1 per cent in year-over-year comparisons.


With cost of living, fuel and borrowing rates headed upwards, Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism is focusing on affordable getaways. Tourism numbers are back around normal for July, after a fairly slow June, according to NKL’s Dianna Ducs.

If you’re looking for some hometown holidaying and a short road trip, the Columbia Basin Culture Tour runs this weekend, July 29 and 30, with a record breaking 110 venues spread throughout the West and East Kootenays.


If you’re looking for a pint, a laugh, and a look around the city’s newest condo development, the Chamber’s Business after Business is Thursday, July 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. at 514 Victoria St. Many of the condos have been sold, but there may be a suite or two to have a boo in.


Meanwhile, new flower shop Aster and Bliss is celebrating its first month in business, and owner Rebecca Scheller is launching a brand new career.

A public sector worker for 20-plus years in provincial government services, Scheller was ready to change things up, always loved plants and plantin’, and felt there was room in town for a third flower shop.

“I just wanted to do something I really loved,” she says, adding that Nelson is a creative and supportive town for entrepreneurs. “When I first started online, I got a lot of good feedback.”

Noting a style that differs from other well established flower shops in town, Scheller — nicknamed Daisy, go figure — also grows a lot of her own flowers at her Appledale micro flower farm and works with other local small flower farms to bring in new stems every week. Aster and Bliss is located at 564 Ward St.

See you in August.

Business Buzz appears monthly.