British Columbia

Downtown Chilliwack getting an ambitious facelift

The City of Chilliwack says Algra Bros. has been awarded a contract to begin the ambitious development of the city's downtown core.

Company Algra Bros. awarded development contract by the City

Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz says Algra Bros. Developments has been awarded a contract to embark on an ambitious development of the city's downtown. (City of Chilliwack)

Big changes appear to be coming to downtown Chilliwack, B.C.

The city has awarded a contract to Algra Bros. Development to begin an ambitious multi-year, multi-phased development in the municipality's downtown core.

Approximately 1.5 hectares of land bordered by Princess Avenue, Empress Lane, Young Road and Yale Road are set to be developed for retail, commercial, residential and mixed-used properties.

The city says the development area is well-serviced by public transit and easily walkable. (City of Chilliwack)

"It is with great excitement that we take this important next step towards revitalizing the heart of our community," said Mayor Sharon Gaetz in a written statement.

"We are confident that Algra Bros. will help us create an iconic, contemporary neighbourhood that recaptures the past while creating a bold, new vision for the future."

The downtown development has been almost a decade in the making — ideas for the area were first floated in the 2010 Chilliwack Downtown Land Use and Development Plan.

The City's 2040 Official Community Plan also called for pedestrian-friendly revitalization of downtown, focused on vibrant cultural hotspots and retail outlets.

An artist rendering of what the downtown will look like after construction is completed echoes the vision laid out by the community plan.

As shown in this artist rendering, the plan is to have downtown full of retail outlets and housing. (City of Chilliwack)

Algra Bros. Development already has an established track record in the city. The firm is behind the Garrison Crossing project which utilized the former Canadian Forces Base Chilliwack to create an entire neighbourhood of residential houses and retail spaces.

The company says it hopes the first tenants of the new development will be able to move in as early as 2019.

Algra Bros. says the development plan is intended to support new construction while preserving Chilliwack's historic nature. Chilliwack was one of the first official municipalities in B.C., and many of its historic buildings were built between the 1890 and 1940.

"We see such tremendous opportunity for the community in downtown Chilliwack," said Dave Algra, of Algra Bros. Development.

"We're very excited and thankful to be a part of the rejuvenation of Chilliwack's downtown."

With files from On the Coast

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