Construction on apartments underway at former Bellanca building in Yellowknife

Construction on apartments underway at former Bellanca building in Yellowknife
Construction on apartments underway at former Bellanca building in Yellowknife

اخبار العرب-كندا 24: الأحد 21 أبريل 2024 04:22 صباحاً

The former Bellanca Building, a longtime staple of Yellowknife's downtown, is glowing-up.

The once federal government office building will soon become The Nest — a 72-unit apartment building with retail space at ground level.

Owner Borealis Development Inc. says construction began on April 1st, and they're aiming for a late 2024 or early 2025 opening. That opening, developer and co-founder Afzal Suri says, will be achieved through an "aggressive" schedule.

"Our construction season is very short, and we really want to have it open this year," he said. "So far everything's going to plan."

Suri says costs have risen slightly, but declined to give any numbers.

"Over the last few years the costs for everything has gone up, we've adjusted," he said. "We're still very much within our means."

Borealis Development bought the Bellanca and the neighbouring parking lot for $1.4 million in 2022. The building famously sat vacant for a decade before the purchase.

Part of the building currently sits without windows, with the inside visibly emptied out to make way for 36 one-bedroom, and 36 two-bedroom apartments.

Suri told CBC News several units will qualify as affordable housing, and will be identical to the commercial units. The developers will decide on the number of affordable units as they get closer to opening.

A parallel perk

Across the street, Aislinn Stirling-Crosby, a co-owner of Overlander Sports, says she's excited for the building to bring new life and business to Yellowknife's downtown. Her only concern is around lack of parking, an issue she says is ongoing in the area.

"We're definitely excited to see something go into that building," she said.

"We do definitely have some concerns about it leading to more parking issues than we already have ... our lot is already being abused by a lot of people who are going elsewhere in the downtown core but they want the free parking that they think our lot provides."

Stirling-Crosby said she can only hope those who live in The Nest might also work downtown and not require a vehicle.

Suri said he's confident this will be the case.

"At the end of the day, because of the convenient location where most amenities are less than a 5-minute walk, we feel most of our tenants that work and live in the core will not need a vehicle," he said.

The company said there are some plans to expand parking for The Nest, but said it will not release any details at this time.

The Nest will also provide three vehicles for residents to use as part of a car-sharing program.

Suri said he looks forward to filling the two retail spaces on the ground floor of the building, and bringing more business to the area in compliance with Yellowknife's vision for downtown's revitalisation.

"We're excited to get this off the ground," he said. "It's the first of its kind, we hope it will encourage others to do something similar."

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