Chilliwack Council Sets In Motion Downtown Revitalization RFP’s

Chilliwack – At Tuesday night’s City Council Public Hearing, Council have unanimous approval for third reading, to push ahead their plans for the downtown revitalization. The RFP – request for proposals from developers for their ideas and concepts, has a January 17, 2018 deadline. By then, CEPCO, the city’s economic development arm, is expected to either embrace one of the concepts or simply start over.  It won’t be the first time this exercise took place. The ill fated consulting with Walas Concepts fell apart in December 2014. There was no mention of Walas at the pubic hearing.

The proposed zone, and the rezoning of the subject properties (in a block bordered by Princess Lane, Yale, Princess and Young including Five Corners), will allow for mixed use development, including retail units with apartment units located above, along Young and Yale Roads, and townhouse development fronting onto Princess Avenue.
The conceptual site plan:
Councilor Sam Waddington, who lives within the area in question, removed himself from the debate.
Laura Reid with Heritage Chilliwack addressed council supporting re-using and re-purposing the heritage buildings in the development proposal and that many of the facades of the existing buildings can be saved:
Only one other person addressed council, in favour of the development but also expressing concern that affordable housing would not be lost in any planning.  Mayor Sharon Gaetz assured that affordable housing would not vanish.
It was noted that all parties have looked at what has been done in revitalizing the downtown cores of similar sites in Nelson, Nanaimo and Fort Langley BC .

Fort Langley




1 Comment on "Chilliwack Council Sets In Motion Downtown Revitalization RFP’s"

  1. Love the idea of revitalization, and hope that they can do so by keeping some of the charm that we have within our downtown. Would love to see outdoor patios or rooftop patios down there, better street lighting, some colorful curb appeal as shown in the photos of other communities and more parking for the area. Maybe a parking garage below the new builds rather than big open parking lots?
    Would also love to see some of the buildings and storefronts maintained a little better on Yale & Wellington to share that same curb appeal. Some of those awnings are disgraceful and falling apart, a few storefronts could use new windows instead of broken boarded up ones and a good pressure wash wouldn’t hurt some of them either. There are so many storefronts that are empty. Is this because of crime or high retail rents? My guess is both! Revitalization may push out the unwanted. Just a thought. And non local building owners should be doing their part.
    The Royal Hotel and Cafe is amazing, however the area is not so inviting for tourists. Mill Street is amazing and is inviting! Why not try and do the same for the remaining part of downtown?

    Also, would love to see the same sort of plan for the old Safeway and Main St. Why is it still sitting empty?
    So much potential. Why not do the same idea as you envision for Five Corners regarding the build and have a lovely community park among it with a water feature (not a waterpark). Central Park is amazing, but I think we need something similar to that within the old Safeway lot on Main St. It would be fabulous with picnic tables & benches. I bet downtown businesses and hotel tourists would utilize an area like this for their lunch & dinner breaks, family picnics etc. Or the seniors and families that live within the area. Revitalize all the way up to the Museum area.
    We live in a beautiful city surrounded by gorgeous mountains, lakes, trails, rivers and a fabulous farming community which offers so much for tourists. Why not improve our core of the downtown to increase tourism? Our downtown has the potential to be a fabulous tourist spot and a great place for our locals to shop!

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