Progress is being made on the City of Castlegar’s plans to see a mixed-use apartment and art gallery complex built in the heart of downtown.
The city’s planning manager Meeri Durand told city council on Aug. 15 that they are making “good progress” with the Kootenay Gallery of Art and the Steel River Group (SRG), the project’s development and construction partner.
Preliminary design will take place in the fall with community engagement slated for the early winter months.
The project team from SRG was scheduled for a site visit this week.
SRG is an Aboriginal-owned and operated group of companies based out of Calgary with experience in development and construction. Recent projects include housing developments in Grand Forks, Cranbrook and Osoyoos. Their design team also has experience with the design of museum and art gallery spaces.
Lu’ma Native Housing Society (LNHS) — the project’s non-profit housing provider — is scheduled to visit in August as well.
LNHS is a non-profit housing provider based out of Vancouver with experience managing a variety of mixed-use and mixed-tenancy projects in and around the Lower Mainland.
The project is slated for the site of the old Eremenko building at 310 Columbia Avenue and 1224 3rd Street. Columbia Basin Trust provided a grant to the City of Castlegar to obtain the property back in April 2021.
The project will include affordable housing — which is not to be confused with low-income or subsidized housing — and the Kootenay Gallery of Art.
On Feb. 7, city council approved an expression of interest from Steel River Group (SRG) and Lu’ma Native Housing Society (LNHS) to develop the project.
The conceptual design for the project includes two options to be decided on at a later date. One concept would require coordinating funding and construction of the two building components and yield 48 housing units, while the other would allow construction of each component independently and yield 33 housing units.