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Chamber making unplanned move

The Chamber of Commerce is moving out of this building to a downtown location. - MARGARET SPEIRS
The Chamber of Commerce is moving out of this building to a downtown location.
— image credit: MARGARET SPEIRS

CITY COUNCIL tonight is expected to give approval to a bylaw allowing the city to borrow just over $177,000, finalizing a deal struck last summer to buy the land upon which the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce building now sits from the provincial government.

The city is also in the process of buying, for $85,000, the chamber's timber structure which is on the property located near the Keith Ave./Hwy16 entrance to the Real Canadian Wholesale Club.

Chamber executive director Carol Fielding said the purchase of the land and the building means the chamber is moving its office which she says will be beneficial but not something the chamber had originally planned.

The original plan, said Fielding, was for the chamber to purchase the land from the province which it had been leasing for $1 a year.

That plan, however, stalled when the province, as part of a larger effort to sell land around the province it considered surplus, put the property on the market.

And the challenge the Chamber then faced was that the province gave the city the first crack at buying the land.

Fielding says the Chamber was caught off guard by the city also wanting to purchase the property and had not at first realized the city would be given the first purchase opportunity.

“The city of Terrace bought the land in June 2013. Last summer, we got the notice that they had bought the land and then they wanted to buy the building from us,” said Fielding.

She said the Chamber had benefitted from the $1 a year land lease deal from the province but that it could not afford the city's new proposed lease payments.

That helped the Chamber make its decision to sell its building and move on, said Fielding.

Had the Chamber stayed in the building after the city purchased it, it would no longer receive rent from Kermode Tourism which occupies the building's ground floor, she added.

Fielding now says the chamber, after 30 years at the old location, is looking forward to moving downtown.

It has taken office space on Lazelle Ave. above Speedee Printers. The space also has a conference room.

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