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Co-op demolition is underway

Mike Johansen and Jesse Bongat work hard at clearing out some of the materials left in the Co-op building on Aug. 24. - Janine Workman
Mike Johansen and Jesse Bongat work hard at clearing out some of the materials left in the Co-op building on Aug. 24.
— image credit: Janine Workman

DEMOLITION OF the  city-owned Terrace Co-op building has started with crews concentrating on removing salvageable material.

City official Marvin Kwiatkowski estimates the inside work, which began last week, will take a month and that tearing down the shell will also take a month.

“There’s quite a bit of salvageable material in there,” said Kwiatkowski of the complex. “It has quite a lot of copper and you know what copper is worth now, and there timbers, 3 X 12 fir timbers.”

Kwiatkowski said every effort will be made to reduce the amount of material that will end up in the dump.

“The concrete will be ground up and used to backfill the basement. There’s a 12-foot basement that needs to be filled,” Kwiatkowski continued.

The large pile of dirt on the western end of the building will also be used as fill, he said.

Despite all efforts to reduce the amount of material to be thrown away, Kwiatkowski estimates as many as 50 large waste bins will be filled.

“The roof product has to go and inside there’s drywall. You really can’t use drywall again,” he continued.

Left untouched for the time being will be the large asphalt parking lot. A tunnel underneath the property will be blocked off.

Council decided to demolish the city-owned building after considering an appraisal which suggest the property will increase in value once the structure is gone.

With the building, the property would be worth $900,000 – to $1.075 million but without it, the value of the property could be worth anywhere from $1.35 million to $1.52 million, the appraisal suggests. The city is spending $284,000 to tear down the building.

“Based on historic demand and current market conditions, we would anticipate that the value that would be achieved from marketing the property would be towards the lower end of the value range,” stated the appraisal prepared by Appraisals Northwest.

City councillors decided the expense of taking down the building would be justified given the resulting increase in value.

The appraisal did indicate that value might rise into the mid-point dollar range based on major industries moving into the region as that would stimulate demand for commercial development within the city.

And the value might rest in the high range should the city find a developer “whose development options are restricted to a large, assembled parcel in the down core of Terrace ....,” the appraisal continues.

The appraisal said the 4.34 acres of land enjoys good visibility and good access.

It was less complimentary to the boarded-up 46,000 square foot former retail complex, saying it has deteriorated since closing in 1998.

“The size, layout and design of the shopping centre building do not meet current day demands for occupation by a single retail business. Conversion to a multi-tenant commercial use or other alternate uses would not be economically feasible,” the appraisal stated.

Also a liability is the presence of hazardous materials.

“It is concluded that the existing improvements do not contribute to the value of the property, but rather are a liability,” the appraisal continues.

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