BC‘s then-citizens‘ services minister Mary McNeil visited Nelson in October 2010 to praise the integration of provincial and municipal counter services in the White Building. “A model like Nelson‘s is really smart

Nelson’s White Building: what now?

We asked Nelson’s mayor how the city plans to fill vacant space at 310 Ward Street now that the RDCK has declined to move in.

Q and A with Nelson mayor John Dooley

Now that the Regional District of Central Kootenay has passed on moving into the White Building, what is the City of Nelson going to do with the vacant space?

We continue to look for opportunities to fill it. We were looking prior to making the presentation to the regional district. We knew we had space coming up. I think we might have about 10,000 square feet to fill in the next couple of years and we’ll continue to search for opportunities to do that.

Have you identified potential tenants?

We’ve talked to Service Canada and other government departments about using the building. One challenge over the last couple of years is that governments in general are consolidating, particularly the provincial government. In different spaces in Cranbrook, Kamloops, Kelowna, even Nelson, where they’ve consolidated into the building up on Stanley Street. Interior Health has consolidated a lot of their [offices]. Consequently, a lot of space in institutional buildings has come available over the last couple of years. That puts pressure on our building. Some consolidation also meant they moved out of our building.

Would you prefer to keep the White Building institutional, or would you open it up to commercial?

We would like to stay with government services. We get a tremendous amount of traffic as it is. Ours was the first in the province as far as the whole concept of a shared service model with the provincial government. It has been a tremendous success. That was the catalyst for us to talk to the regional district and add to that component, where residents of our region would be able to access government services in a one-stop shop. We would like to continue to build on that.

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