Nelson Commons development reaches another milestone

The Nelson Commons development is the largest project in Nelson to occur in several decades.

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The Nelson Commons development has reached yet another major milestone. On December 16 the project took another step towards reality after submitting its formal building permit application to the City of Nelson for the mixed use development at the old Extra Foods site.

The mixed use development is now fully designed after a 10-month process. Russell Precious, project manager for Nelson Commons, said this project will have an enormous impact on Nelson and the trading area it supports. 

The whole project started out with Kootenay Co-op needing extra space. Kootenay Co-op is bursting at its seams because it has grown to be the largest independent, member-owned natural food store in Canada.

"There is no entity such as ourselves that has taken on a project of this scale," said Precious. "It is a very large-scale project. We were incredibly happy to acquire the most significant underdeveloped property in Nelson's downtown core, the old Extra Foods site. It's going to have an enormous impact on the city."

The site, which will occupy almost an entire city block at the east end of downtown Baker Street and Vernon Street, will take up about 54,000 square feet and will be the largest development project in Nelson in several decades. The building will include a brand new Kootenay Co-op store of 20,000 square feet, a commercial business space of an additional 10,000 square feet, 54 residences and an extensive public green space.

"This project has significant economic repercussions for the local economy, both in terms of the design and the build-out itself but on an ongoing basis as well," said Precious. "The challenge for us when we acquired the site was to decide how to optimize the property. Because it's such a significant site, we started looking into the mixed use development with the residential component."

Fifty-four housing units went on sale in September and Nelson Commons already has one commercial space sold to B.C. Wine Guys, which will be moving from its location on Kootenay Street to snuggle in next to the new Kootenay Co-op. There are still three additional spaces unspoken for at this time. Each space is about 2,500 square feet.

Precious is also very excited about the public green space. Nelson Commons will be using the same outdoor landscaper that created Oso Negro Cafe's beautiful garden and patio. Nelson Commons hopes to attract the public to relax and experience its green space with an outdoor water feature and 16 different varieties of plants.

The $23 million project will begin construction in the spring of 2014 and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2015.

Karen Kornelsen

Karen Kornelsen, a writer for Kootenay Business Magazine, has a degree in jounalism. She enjoys finding and reporting the news from the business community. View all of Karen Kornelsen’s articles

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