Old bank to become new gym

NORTHERN Savings Credit Union has sold a two-storey office building in one of the largest downtown real estate transactions in years.

HERE IS Loralie Thomson in front of the old Terrace and District Credit Union building on Lazelle Ave. She has bought the building and is renovating the main portion downstairs to serve as a gym.

THE NORTHERN Savings Credit Union has sold a two-storey office building on Lazelle Ave. in one of the largest downtown commercial real estate transactions in recent years.

Loralie Thomson has purchased the building on the 4600 Block of Lazelle and is having a portion of the first floor renovated to hold a full-service gym.

The structure was built by the Terrace and District Credit Union and housed its facilities for three decades but when the institution was absorbed into the Northern Savings Credit Union in 2006, the building became surplus to the latter’s needs.

It was put on the market after Northern Savings decided to build its own building just to the west on the corner of Lazelle and Sparks. It opened in 2009.

Listings at first were in the $1 million range but the final sales price was $800,000.

Northern Savings interim chief executive officer Bill Nicholls said the credit union was happy to see the building sold.

“And we’re glad to see it going to someone in the community,” he said.

Nicholls said the building did not fit into either the credit union’s long term plans nor was the credit union in the business of being an owner of commercial real estate or of being a landlord.

Money that had been tied up in the building was an asset, and it can now be leant to customers, said Nicholls.

For her part, Thomson said she had no intention of buying the building until driving by one day and noticing the for sale sign.

“I’d been looking for a place to open a gym but just couldn’t find something suitable for what I need,” she said.

One of the attractions was the parking lot area on the west side of the building, Thomson added.

The gym, to be called My Fitness Centre, will go in where the Terrace and District Credit Union had its offices and take up approximately 4,000 square feet.

The eastern end of the first floor, where the Terrace and District Credit Union had its executive and loan offices, will eventually hold the offices of Timber Baron, a company owned by Thomson’s husband, Lee. The two vacant storefronts on the western end of the main floor will stay as they are.

“I just feel Terrace has a need [for a gym]. There’s only one other one right now and there’s the pool,” said Thomson of her plans.

The gym space will be complemented by a retail section selling fitness and recreation wear.

Renovations have started and Thomson expects  to be open the middle of this month.

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