Powell River Regional District officials are finalizing details of moving offices from Townsite to Gibson’s Crossing on Marine Avenue.
The regional district has sold the heritage home, built in 1910, which had been its office for 33 years. It will have over 3,046 square feet of office space in its new location and 797 square feet of dedicated boardroom space, which can be converted into a Regional Emergency Operations Centre in the event of a disaster or catastrophe.
As it currently has 2,836 square feet of office space, the regional district is gaining 1,007 square feet.
“This initiative will significantly improve working conditions for the staff of the regional district and create a better environment for the board members and the public attending, in the many meetings of the regional district and its various committees,” said Colin Palmer, regional board chair. “The new facility will also be handicap accessible which makes the regional district directors, staff and resources more readily available to all of the public, something which was not afforded in the past.”
The regional district paid $599,794 to acquire the Gibson’s Crossing strata location, including all fees and taxes. The purchase is funded through the net proceeds of the sale of the heritage home of $303,000. Reserve funds totalling $285,107 are being used as well and the balance of $88,000 will be contributed through a short-term loan.
The regional district also expects to spend about $76,300 to renovate the new office space. The expected moving date is sometime in April.
As well as the property on which the heritage home sits at 5776 Marine Avenue, the regional district also owns a vacant lot next to the building, which is currently for sale. If it sells, the proceeds will be used to pay down the Gibson’s Crossing purchase.
The heritage home is expected to return to a residential dwelling and the regional district has applied to City of Powell River to change the official community plan (OCP) designation and zoning. The proposal is to change the OCP designation from Institutional to Townsite Residential and to rezone the property from NT, Institutional, to R3, Townsite Residential.
In December, council gave first and second readings to bylaw amendments which will affect the changes. A public hearing about the amendments will be held at 6:30 pm on Thursday, January 17 in council chambers at city hall, 6910 Duncan Street.
Council has also issued notice of a development variance permit for the property that would provide conforming status to existing buildings on the site.