After a few years of uncertainty the Brookfield Centre has been sold to a new owner, who’s now looking for tenants to set up shop in some of the building’s vacant units.
The shopping centre, located at 74 Young Rd., was bought by C.W. Chang of Kelowna for roughly half a million dollars and will likely be used to set up more retail businesses.
“It’s great (to see), obviously that end of town needs some revitalization—a lot of people live down that way, so to have a bit more retail variety at that end of town is an obvious choice,” said District of Clearwater (DOC) mayor, Merlin Blackwell, adding market surveys have been done indicating Clearwater was under-served by about 40 per cent for retail.
“With (the shopping centre) being in foreclosure and the value of that property going down continuously, there was speculation at one point it could go to tax sale and the DOC could own it; if that was the case, we would have lost that tax revenue stream and would have had to deal with something we wouldn’t want to have to deal with, so we’re very happy it did find a buyer, taking a hard choice off the plate of the district had things continued with the foreclosure.”
Chang visited Clearwater last week and met with DOC officials, saying his plan was to recruit tenants and renovate the units as needed when they become occupied.
Aside from retail businesses, Blackwell added there are a few other options units could be zoned for like storage, rental housing or restaurants.
“We gave him a few ideas based on the zoning for business ideas that seemed to be lacking in Clearwater,” said Blackwell.
Chang looked at quite a few properties across B.C., he added, before settling on Clearwater because the price was right and the town is one of a few smaller communities in the province that appears to be showing economic growth.
“A lot of other places seem to be stagnating; it’s one of those things where we have a Subway (restaurant) on the way, a new hotel coming in and all of a sudden people see growth and they go, ‘Well, that’s a good place to invest in,’” Blackwell said.
“I think it’s the snowball effect and definitely the tourism numbers as well, they saw there’s going to be a need here.”
Blackwell added that while it’ll likely take some time before the Brookfield Centre starts attracting tenants and businesses get rolling at the location, it’s exciting to see someone taking ownership with plans to run with it.