The last month has been exciting for the west end of Baker Street. The 200 and 300 blocks have gone off in a new direction that should bode well for our community.
Earlier this month it was announced that the former Nelson Daily News building at 266 Baker Street was sold to a consortium that plans to breathe new life into the historic property. Office, retail and up to 10 small condo units are planned for one of the downtown’s most prominent buildings.
In today’s paper (page 3) you can read about the plans for the building that currently houses the Royal Bar and Grill. Another ambitious move that could create up to 11 condo units on the upper floors of 330 Baker Street.
This all comes at a time when city council is putting the final touches on the Downtown and Waterfront Master Plan. Though happening independently of City Hall initiatives, these plans jibe well with the future Nelsonites envision.
Our downtown is our jewel. Along with the lakeside setting, it’s what sets us apart from so many rural communities. The vibrancy and beauty mesh together to create a place that leaves a lasting impact on those who visit, those who decide to move here and those who have been here for a lifetime.
Both buildings currently slated for redevelopment are hopefully a glimpse into what the future holds for our downtown. Historic properties which have not realized their full potential of late will once again become key in the downtown mix.
In a community so land poor it simply makes sense to capitalize on what we already have and improve upon our strengths. Building up makes more environmental sense than starting fresh. Adding more buzz to an already bustling downtown is an economic score. The ebb and flow of the core continues. It’s a direction that will continue to set Nelson apart and make us a stronger community.