The Nelson Star will become a major tenant of the city’s historic CPR station early next year.
“We’ve outgrown our present space,” said regional publisher Chuck Bennett.
The Star moved into its current office at the corner of Hall St. and Herridge Lane in October 2008, a few months after the paper launched.
Back then it had four employees. It now has ten, in addition to a creative team of five that works out of the Burns block on Baker St., providing services for Black Press publications throughout West Kootenay.
Bennett said all employees will relocate to the second floor of the train station, which is nearing completion after a multi-year renovation and restoration by the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce.
“It just made sense to go down to one location. It’s going to be a beautiful space. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
The creative team is expected to move early in the new year, while editorial, sales, and circulation staff will join them once the current Star office has been sublet.
The latter is also in a heritage building, erected by former mayor John J. Malone in several stages beginning in the 1910s. The 1,200 square foot space includes three parking spots. Inquiries can be directed to Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CPR station, built in 1900, has about 9,600 square feet of useable space, chamber manager Tom Thomson said. The chamber will take about half itself for a new visitor centre, community meeting space, and offices.
The chamber expects to be in the building as of Nov. 1, culminating a process that began more than eight years ago.
“We wanted to fast track an opportunity for us and Black Press to move in,” Thomson said. “It’s nice to have a secure, community-minded tenant and it’s good for the Star to centralize operations that are now spread across two floors in two buildings.”
Thomson said the west end of the train station’s main floor isn’t yet finished and work will continue after occupancy.
The Star will take about 2,200 square feet on the west end of the second floor.
Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism, which presently shares space with the chamber at 225 Hall St., will also move to the train station.
Tenants for two ground floor spaces of 1,450 and 1,100 square feet have yet to be announced.
“There has been some interesting discussion about what we could use those spaces for,” Thomson said. “One potential tenant would be a nice fit for the chamber, community, and Railtown area.”
Thomson said they hope to make those decisions over the next six months.
Acquiring the building was a germ of an idea when Thomson started with the chamber in February 2007. The organization came to terms with the CPR in July 2010 and work has proceeded in fits and starts ever since, based on funding availability.
The chamber has already sold its present building.
Thomson said the transition period will probably be a couple of days, and by the chamber’s gala dinner on Nov. 7 they should be well established in their new home.
A soft opening is expected this fall, but a grand opening will wait until the spring of 2016.