The Skeena Mall is getting more than just a facelift and work will be starting soon learned city councillors last night.
Council approved a development permit for the mall property, 4731 – 4761 Lakelse Ave. in Terrace, and heard from city planner David Block that contractors are expected start as soon as possible.
Loon Properties Inc., a subsidiary of major Vancouver-based developer Bosa Properties Inc., has big plans for the space which include renovations indoors, landscaping outdoors, and filling empty retail space.
“The new owners of the Skeena Mall property are undertaking a major renovation,” said Block in his report to council. “The new owners have indicated several major retail tenants are close to, or have now entered, long term leases with the mall.”
An estimated $1 million will be spent on the work, said Block.
The development permit was submitted by Urban Design Group Architects on behalf of Loon Properties March 28, with plans including “a dramatic update to the exterior facade of the mall building,” according to the report.
Plans include completion and improvement of a landscaped strip along Lakelse Ave., which will be widened with new curb and landscape plantings.
Mall signage will be replaced, with a new freestanding sign at the Lakelse Ave. main entrance and another at the corner of Eby St. and Hwy 16.
Provisions for small car only parking for up to 42 spaces have been made, which will retain parking stall numbers but make space for landscaping and buffers.
The roof will also be fixed, and interior renos will happen, too.
“They plan to redo the flooring in the entire mall,” said Block.
City councillors at the meeting did raise concerns about landscaping and traffic prior to approving the permit.
Councillor Brian Downie noted the area had somewhat of a desert look to it and that if low shrubs are planted, the effect would be enhanced.
Councillor James Cordeiro asked if any considerations were made to handle more traffic.
Block responded the area as designed to be used much more than it is already.
“It’s only adding any more activity than was expected to be on the site,” he said.
Contractors are expected to arrive in a couple of weeks, said Block, adding work should take from two to four months this summer.
Loon Properties Inc. purchased the Skeena Mall from Lanch Holdings in December of 2011.
A once bustling mall filled with shoppers and shops, the mall has never fully recovered from the collapse of the forest industry in the late 1990s.
Lanch Holdings formerly bought the mall out of receivership several decades ago.