Over two hundred Nelsonites attended Business after Business at the newly renovated CPR station building in Railtown on Thursday evening, including incoming Police Chief Paul Burkart, Mayor Deb Kozak and members of the business community.
“This is a soft opening where we invite the business community to come down and see what’s transpired over the five years of construction,” said Tom Thomson, executive director of the Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce.
“These people have seen it all, from when it was stripped to the studs and there were big holes in the walls to the foundation being lifted and now they come in and can’t believe it’s here. It’s been turned from a liability into a community asset.”
Thomson plans to hosts a grand opening in the spring or early summer, once plaza development is completed outside. Next door Railtown Coffeehouse will open up for business before that, sometime in the early new year.
“We’re looking forward to having an independent new business in here. I know they’ve been working closely with Oso Negro,” said Thomson. “The feel inside the building will be very nice. People can come in, get a coffee, connect to the Wi-Fi and learn about our community while planning their vacations.”
The Nelson Star is preparing to move into the offices upstairs, next door to where Thomson has already moved. There are a number of other spaces under construction and looking for tenants to fill them.
“It’s amazing to be in the building after what it was when we took over. When we first took on this building project, we thought we were taking on a liability. And just look at it now.”
Janice Poetsch, realtor John Knox and SD8 director Lori Fehr.
Incoming police chief Paul Burkart, Karen Bennett and the visitor centre’s Val Yowek.
Nelson Commons’ Deirdrie Lang, Mayor Deb Kozak and former city councillor Paula Kiss.
Brad Higham of Collabo Consulting and “Shambhala Mom” Britz Robins.
The City of Nelson’s Allison Sutherland and DHC Communications owner Dave Harasym.
The visitor centre’s Denise McInnes, Trina Walsh and Val Yowek manned the bar.