The iconic Paramount Theatre sign could one day be part of a new complex on the same downtown site where the much-loved theatre once stood.
A proposed design by Craven Huston Powers was unveiled during the Chilliwack Community Services consultation open house for the Paramount Project on Monday night.
About 55 people showed up in the CCS board room to peruse plans in which the historic sign would be incorporated into the building façade of a mixed-use building.
“The idea to use the original sign — not a replica — was Ken Popove’s idea, and it is a brilliant idea,” said Paul Donaldson, chair of the CCS board of directors. “It ties in quite well with what the City is trying to do with the downtown core, and revitalization.
The proposed Paramount complex would see seniors’ housing on the upper levels, and offices and more below.
“It pays homage to the vision of the revitalization, and it just seems right,” Donaldson added.
The “iconic” sign with its art deco influences has been in storage since the Paramount Theatre was demolished in 2013.
“It just made sense to me,” Coun. Ken Popove said about how he came up with the idea he later floated to CCS officials. “The sign is iconic and certainly brings back fond memories for a lot of people.”
Donaldson emphasized that despite it being early days, there has already been so much “help and support being expressed” by a variety community members and potential partners as they prepare the detailed RFP submission for BC Housing.
“This is all just years in the making,” he said.
The construction of the Paramount Project is still completely contingent on BC Housing funding approval. The request-for-proposals submission is underway and closes in September.
If approved, and eventually rezoned at city hall, the Paramount could see 44 housing units built for seniors, with rents based on income, as well as office space for CCS and more.
The application is to rezone from a CS (Town Centre Commercial) to a CD-28 zone, for the mixed use development, including housing for seniors and commercial uses.
The public hearing at city hall for the rezoning is set for Tuesday Aug. 21.