Preliminary development plan for the site shows a mix of commercial

Sale of old Safeway site in Chilliwack nears closure

Development plans for the cornerstone downtown property start to take shape.

Mann Group, a Surrey-based real estate development company, is in the process of acquiring the old Safeway site in Downtown Chilliwack.

“We’re closing on the property in August,” confirmed Glen Smith, development manager for Mann Group.

The new ‘For Lease’ sign that went up recently at the corner of Main and Kipp is geared to sparking interest in the vast redevelopment space in the heart of downtown Chilliwack.

Although a rough set of plans are included on the signage, the final renderings will be based on who shows keen interest in leasing the unique space.

“We’ll be applying shortly for a development permit, but the exact sizes and types of spaces that will ultimately be available, have yet to be finalized,” said Smith.

Subjects on the sale were removed in May.

“I think we’re going to do a very good project for Chilliwack,” said Smith.

“We’re very pleased with the dynamic we’ve found there, and it’s a very interesting site.”

The expectation is that the redevelopment will make a “fundamental” contribution to downtown revitalization efforts, and at this point they are sticking with the zoning designation chosen by the city.

Council approved multi-use rezoning of the entire block last fall, going from commercial zoning, to high-density multi-family residential, and commercial, as well as a CD 15, (comprehensive development) zoning.

Mann Group is working with local land-use consultant Ryan Anderson of OTG Developments, as well as with city and CEPCO officials on the zoning, and permitting process.

“Hopefully this can be the kick-start for a turnaround of the whole downtown,” added Smith.

The ‘For Lease’ signs went up recently offering “premier retail and office space” through Select Real Estate agents Dan Matheson and Jim Schroeder.

Mann Group’s experience in land acquisition, project design, construction and project financing, is “extensive” since being established in 1989, according to the company website. It states their primary target markets are: “major and suburban cities” across Canada, “primarily British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario,” and specializing in commercial, industrial, retail, office and multi-family developments.

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