The old Canadian Tire building is getting some new owners: Northern Vision Development.
The deal won’t officially close until December, but Rich Thompson, Northern Vision’s CEO, doesn’t anticipate any problems.
The building, on the other hand, is going to take a lot of work, he said.
It’s still early days, said Thompson, but the current plans are to renovate the building and lease it to commercial tenants.
“It’s a little bit of an eyesore as it exists currently, but with a little bit of care and attention it can be made into a productive asset in the Whitehorse community,” said Thompson.
Northern Vision has already been in talks with potential tenants, but nothing has been confirmed.
It wont be the easiest place to rent out.
As a condition of the sale there are several restrictions on the property that limit how it can be used. Both Canadian Tire and Loblaw have caveats on the property.
“Auto service, sporting goods, food, drugs, groceries – all those things would fall into the category of exclusion,” said Thompson. “That makes it more difficult to lease out the building, but not impossible.
“That’s why our thinking is that it will probably end up with a number of tenants in there, rather than a singular tenant.”
Those restrictions are also the reason that the property has remained vacant for so long.
The building, which first opened in the 1980s, has been up for sale since 2007, when Canadian Tire moved to its current location.
It’s still too soon to say when the building will reopen, said Thompson. But the sooner the better.
“Obviously there’s big incentive once you own a property to try and make sure it’s productive, so we’ll have that driving us to get our plans in place very quickly,” he said.
Those plans could include construction of an additional freestanding building on the property, said Thompson.
“We think it’s an important part of the cityscape, so we want to make sure that we’re carefully redeveloping that property and that it becomes a real productive asset again, so we want to take our time and make sure that we get it right.”
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