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Elk's Hall in downtown Port Coquitlam sold to developer

A medical office building with condos above could rise next to Leigh Square, but the city will be able to lease some of the commercial space to new businesses under the deal.

A residential and commercial building is likely to rise next to Leigh Square in downtown Port Coquitlam after the city concludes a deal to sell three properties to a developer.

The planned sale of 2265 Wilson Ave., 2291 Wilson Ave., and 2272 Leigh Square for what has been reported as nearly $1.6-million will anchor Leigh Square on the west even as the city is planning to redevelop the square into a festival space.

Under the deal, the city will be able to lease some of the commercial space to new businesses.

Rob Bremner, the city's CAO, told the Tri-City News via email that the city has entered an agreement to sell the properties as part of its comprehensive strategy to add space for new Port Coquitlam downtown businesses and residential development. 

Condos and medical offices

"The developer has expressed interest in developing commercial business space for ground floor medical/commercial uses with residential condos above. The developer will need to apply to rezone the property and consult with the community related to the future design," Bremner stated.

As part of this agreement the city will receive both cash and commercial space which will be leased to local businesses to help further enhance the range of services and amenities in the downtown, he added.

Meanwhile, The People’s Pantry Food Recovery Society, which operates a food bank at Elk's Hall with surplus grocery store food, will have to look for a new home.

Executive director Pam Eberl told the Tri-City News that the arrangement has always been temporary but has lasted more than two years.

However, the lease is up Dec. 31 and Eberl said she is desperately looking for a new space that can accommodate freezers and fridges as well as provide space for sorting and distributing food.

Food bank seeks a new home

"I'm worried, yeah," Eberl said.

The program has provided healthy food, including vegetables, meat and staples to about 300 people weekly and Eberl said the society has been able to save more than 150,000 kg of food from being thrown out.

"It’s an amazing feeling to know that we have been able to feed people at a time like this," said Eberl, noting the high cost of fuel and gas.

She said she's optimistic that something will turn up in time.

Meanwhile, Coun. Glenn Pollock, who is running for re-election, said he is "scrambling" to find a new space and is making it a priority whether or not he is elected.

Developers with empty warehouse space, church basements and schools not used for education purposes are all possibilities, said Pollock, and he's looking into multiple opportunities.

Meanwhile, those with space to offer are encouraged to email Eberl at [email protected]

"We're just praying— we need something,," said Eberl, "Hopefully something comes up so we’ll see."