Demolition to begin soon to make way for Nelson Commons

A fence will go up around property in the coming weeks as the Kootenay Co-op prepares to build a larger store and 54 residential units.

Nelson Commons is moving forward.

The $26 million project of the Kootenay Country Store Cooperative, will include a larger co-op store, 54 residential units, additional commercial spaces, underground and street level parking, and a community green space in a prime location in Nelson’s downtown core.

Over the next few weeks, Nelson residents can expect to see fencing go up around the old Extra Foods building, as hazardous material removal begins inside the building. Over the winter, the building itself will be demolished and the land prepared for excavation in February. Construction is slated to begin in the spring of 2015, with both commercial and residential occupancy in the summer of 2016.

“This is the news we have been waiting for — we are looking forward to watching our new home rise up in the heart of Nelson,” said Marty Horswill, Nelson Commons condo owner.

“As purchasers of a condo at Nelson Commons we are excited to see the beginning of a project that will create new vitality in downtown Nelson,” agreed Dave and Cheryl Elliott.

“Nelson Commons will be the most significant project in the downtown core in the last 20 years”, said Kootenay Co-op President Jon Steinman.

“We are very aware that we have a responsibility to our 12,000 members and to our region to develop the land responsibly from a social, environmental and economic perspective.”

The project includes features like restricted resale units (to increase accessibility for home buyers entering the market), heat capture in the building, xeriscaping to reduce water use needs and many other features that reduce the store and building footprint.

“We’re so excited to be offering new services to the community in our new store,” said general manager Deirdrie Lang. “From a full service deli, teaching kitchen and community room to the aisle space and parking that our members have been patiently waiting for for years”.

The co-op members-owners contributed towards the new store during the co-op’s successful 2013 member loan campaign which raised $1.87 million, a North American record for a campaign of this kind.