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Sixty unit residential building being renovated in the city

Prince Rupert building sat without tenants for years is due to be ready for residents in 2021
Scaffolding is being constructed around a ten-story apartment building in Prince Rupert. Sixty units are set to be completed in 2021 said Mayor Lee Brain, on Feb. 2. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Sixty apartments are under renovation at the residential tower located at 200 Sherbrooke Ave. in Prince Rupert, Mayor Lee Brain announced on his social media page on Feb. 2.

“I think this is awesome news and is signaling we are starting to make traction on the housing front, with a lot more on the way,” Brain said.

While the new property owners have not been publicly identified, the mayor said the property was purchased last year by an individual from Victoria.

“This project is slated to become 60 market rental units for Prince Rupert residents and is scheduled to be completed in 2021,” he said.

The ten-floor building previously consisted of a mix of bachelor and one-bedroom units, housing six apartments on each floor, with two of the few residential elevators in the city. The Prince Rupert building is commonly known as ‘Digby Towers” and had sat vacant of residents for years.

The mayor said he had heard concerns from the public about the project and wanted to clarify some issues.

Prince Rupert City will not become involved in any rezoning of the property as it is already zoned appropriately for its residential use under the Official Community Plan.

“It is private property, there is no need for council involvement other than the developer having to obtain the appropriate building, ministry, or environment etc. permits,” Brain said.

As long as the project fits within the current land use designation Brain said, and meets all current codes, standards, and procedures - the owners are free to move forward with their development.

“Only when a developer wants to make a change to land use does council go through a public rezoning process,” Brain said.

Renovations on the property are currently being overseen by local general contractor Marcan Construction, with scaffolding being put in place by Aluma-Systems from Prince Rupert.

“(The 2021 year) is shaping up to be a productive year for Prince Rupert, and I’m excited about all the great initiatives on the docket to improve the quality of life for all community members,” Brain said.

Marcan and Aluma-Systems were unavailable for comment.

Correction: a previous version listed Aluma-Systems from Kitimat.

 K-J Millar | Journalist 
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