In his last official duty as mayor of Nelson, John Dooley was happy to see the Nelson Commons project en route to breaking ground after reaching the pre-sale requirement of 34 units.
“This project means a lot to the community,” he said. “It’s one of the key elements of the Sustainable Waterfront and Downtown Master Plan.”
He said the plan includes having two anchors at either end of Baker Street, the Nelson Commons and the CP Rail station at opposite ends, to create additional traffic to the core of downtown.
Dooley said the Nelson Commons will benefit the community as more people will be living downtown. Plus, as it’s a locally owned cooperative, not only will the profits be shared but they will stay in local hands.
“It’s a project I’ve been excited about since the first day Russell [Nelson Commons project manager] talked to me about it,” said Dooley. “And the future possibilities for development. I’m glad it got underway before the end of my term. ”
Nelson Commons project manager Russell Precious joined Dooley at the Nelson Commons site with Sean Dillabaugh, site inspector for the general contractor, ITC, a Vancouver-based company with a Nelson founder.
The Nelson Commons parking lot is now fenced off as crews work to remove hazardous material, which is mainly asbestos in vermiculite insulation in the cinder blocks, over the next three weeks.
Other work expected to be completed in December is the removal of power poles in the alleyway and new transformers being installed for the new building. Demolition of the old Extra Foods building is expected to commence early January.
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.
Construction is slated to begin in the spring of 2015, with both commercial and residential occupancy in the summer of 2016.