If you have been wondering what the new building that is taking shape downtown on Columbia Avenue is going to be used for, you don’t have much longer to wait as construction is expected to be completed in a matter of weeks.
The dual-purpose building is being constructed by Pinnacle Professional Accounting, which is currently renting space downtown on 4th Street. “We really wanted to keep our business downtown,” said Pinnacle owner Chris Brien. “I think Castlegar is a really great investment opportunity right now for real estate and for business. There are a lot of people with great ideas and visions for the downtown and I think it is important to keep the goal of revitalization of this area in mind.”
The main floor will be used for the business and features offices, colourful open spaces for meeting with clients, a board room and all the necessary accommodations to meet the needs of the staff of five that will be working there. The basement will also be used to meet the needs of the business.
The top floor consists of two apartments. Both are bright and modern with open floor plans and practical design features, including custom cabinetry and closets by Boardwalk Enterprises based out of Thrums. The apartments will be occupied by Brien and the other Pinnacle partners Willow Enewold and Doug Johnstone.
The Pinnacle business partners have owned the property for several years and the right time for building finally came last year. The company chose Maida Custom Homes to construct the building.
“We are committed to be here for a long time,” said Brien about why they chose to include living space in the building. “I want to live in Castlegar. I spend a lot of time at work — why not live at work? If I am building a new building, there are efficiencies to building up.”
Pinnacle’s primary business focus is servicing small to medium sized businesses for their accounting, tax and financial advisory needs, but their overall philosophy includes supporting downtown Castlegar and local culture. This philosophy is reflected in the new building.
“We wanted to do something that would be a cool thing for the downtown,” explained Brien. “This is a prime lot, we thought that something bigger and sort of cool looking would be a good addition to the city instead of just some sort of big box.”
The company has supported Sculpturewalk for years and is incorporating several sculptures in their landscape plans. They also plan to keep with the Communities in Bloom theme, incorporating green spaces and some benches.
Brien grew up in Nelson and spent a number of years on the coast before returning to the Kootenays. “Not everyone has that opportunity — a lot of people want to get back but don’t have the work or the resources to come back here,” he said.
Brien is excited about where he sees Castlegar heading. “I have been happy with some of the progressiveness I have seen from the city council here in the last five years,” he said. “It’s one of the reasons why I was okay with living in Castlegar as opposed to going back to Nelson.”
He also appreciates the new cultural projects around town. “They [city council] are not afraid to spend some money on cultural-type projects. I don’t mind servicing the debt, I am young and I’m living here for the next 30 years so I don’t mind the city having to borrow money from time to time to finance things,” said Brien.
Pinnacle plans to keep supporting downtown Castlegar and local culture for years to come, and there is already talk about how they can use the flat exterior surfaces of their building as public art spaces some time in the future.