The excitement is palpable on the Chilliwack site of the Algra Brothers downtown development site.
The innovative redevelopment near Five Corners aims to recapture the essence of downtown’s golden past, while creating a bold vision of the future.
Algra Bros. reps are now finalizing details around incoming tenants for Phase 1, not the least of which is the plan to relocate the Algra Bros. Developments operation itself — from Abbotsford to Chilliwack.
“It just made sense for us to be here,” said Jon Kinneman, marketing and art director for Algra Bros., explaining the idea behind their imminent move to downtown Chilliwack.
Several of the Algra staff already call Chilliwack home, he said, and feel that downtown Chilliwack is obviously in the midst of a renaissance.
The 3.75-acre redevelopment site bounded by Young Road, Yale Road, Princess Avenue and Empress Lane, will see a combination of retail, commercial, residential and mixed-used development, in a multi-year, multi-phased development.
To date Algra has concluded Phase 1 lease agreements with: Field House Brewing, Refinery House, Spruce Collective, Decades Coffee Club, as well as a craft brewery, barbershop and a spa/school that will be announced soon, Kinneman said.
Site prep has been underway as builders with Algra get everything ready for Phase 1 commercial tenants and Phase 2, which will feature a large apartment building.
“The big priority has been getting Phase I leased,” said Kinneman.
Algra Bros., which comprises builder Dave Algra with brothers Peter and Phil, started out framing houses in the Fraser Valley before becoming general contractors. They learned a lot from their years of building in Garrison Crossing about the importance of incorporating the history of a place into the design elements of a development.
Phase I will see several of the older buildings renovated into commercial units, with some of the beautiful historic façades maintained in the section between Young Road and Nowell Street on Yale.
A pedestrian alley is at the core of the mammoth project, which is expected to kickstart the long-awaited revitalization of the area, bringing monumental changes to the neighbourhood with vibrant cafés, brew pubs, shops and residences.