Raffles Inn, at the Five Corners in Prince Rupert, is getting an overhaul after the new owners took it over. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

In Our Opinion: A spring clean for Prince Rupert

Numerous renovations, new businesses, development at the port, the outlook for 2019 is promising

Out with the old and in with the new. Prince Rupert is in the midst of some serious spring cleaning.

Let’s start at the Five Corners, where one of Rupert’s longtime eye sores, the bed-bug plagued Raffles Inn, is in the midst of an overhaul.

Could this be goodbye to constant police and fire department presence at this part of town?

The new owners have plans to turn this make-shift hotel-turned-homeless shelter into long-term housing for seniors or students. It’s still early days for the project, but it’s happening.

Then there’s the budding cannabis businesses.

The first approved store will fill the empty space at 1100 Park Avenue, also at the Five Corners, and the second pot shop will fill the vacant Carters Jewellers space on Third Avenue, which has been empty for more than two years.

READ MORE: Port of Prince Rupert president on growing trade in 2019

There are more renovations underway, at the Cargo kitchen location, at the J & E Tackle sporting goods shop. Hekate Esthetics completed renovations on its Third Avenue spot and opened in February. The Prince Rupert Yacht and Rowing Club’s new building also looks fresh and welcoming, another Cow Bay improvement. And soon, West Coast Launch will be moving into the former Cow Bay Cafe location.

In with the new.

We have the 36-units at Crow’s Nest open, and it’s already full with residents who previously stayed at Raffles Inn or the emergency shelter. The North Coast Transition Society is offering programs to the tenants to help them get back on their feet and off the street.

Then we look at the port. President and CEO Shaun Stevenson delivered a good news speech to the Chamber of Commerce last week on the continued growth of the port.

Fairview expansion, the connector road and AltaGas we knew about. But at last, after all this silence about where Wolverine was at came out, with the port authority and Transport Canada approving the marine fuel project’s environmental determination.

Metlakatla’s business ventures and projects also continue to amaze, from the Coast Tsimshian-inspired cedar hat roofs being fitted on top of the new seniors housing complex, or the Coastal Shellfish commercial scallop farm hiring locally and selling to markets near and far.

Then last week, we learned about Metlakatla Development Corporation pursuing another venture off of Ridley Island Road. A warehousing business that will support activities at the port.

For a moment here, let’s revel in this positive growth and let the Law of Attraction draw more business to our corner of the province.

READ MORE: Horgan trying to do what Christy Clark couldn’t get done

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