Upgrade to Skeena Mall to cost millions

By the time work is done, the Skeena Mall's purchase and upgrade will have cost around $8 million, says owner

Robert Bosa

Robert Bosa

The owner of  a major property development company from the lower mainland says when work is done, the Skeena Mall’s purchase and extreme face lift will have cost around $8 million.

Robert Bosa, owner of Bosa Properties which purchased the Skeena Mall under subsidiary Loon Properties Inc. for $3.8 million in November 2011, says at the time he didn’t expect to spend $4-5 million more, but that it’s a good thing.

The first application to the city for renovations and improvements to the building’s inside and outside was charted at $1.7 million in April, but it has risen because improvements for new tenants are being made, said Bosa.

“I thought it was a good deal in the beginning,” said Bosa about the initial decision to purchase the mall.

He said with projections of economic activity to come over the next five to fifteen years,  he felt confident about the purchase.

From there, things evolved, he said.

At the time, it was unknown what if any new stores would lease space there, but Bosa said it was known that the mall would need improvements.

But now with Sport Chek, Dollarama and Winners officially on board, Bosa said it’s important that the mall’s look is completely redone.

“We want to make it so that it all looks brand new,” he said, adding that improvements like this keep tenants for the long haul, which is what the company wants.

In response to rumours about a London Drugs moving into the mall, Bosa said that nothing is in the bag.

Construction on the  building started in spring 2012 and is expected to be finished by the summer’s end.

Initial improvements were applied for under two permits totaling $1.7 million, one for indoors and one for outdoors.

These include exterior refinishing, new signage, a new roof, and landscaping.

Indoors, new flooring and other finishing renovations were included.

Plans evolved to include knocking down retail space walls to make room for three large new stores inside and finish them to be ready for retailers to move in.

The city’s building inspector Bruce Miller said for Sport Chek, the interior renovation permit came in at $600,000.

“There’s going to be a few more permits,” he said, adding that permits for Dollarama and Winners are underway.

“Undoubtedly when he’s all finished, he will have spent his $8 million,” said Miller about the cost of mall renovations and upgrades.

He added that many won’t require permits, such as laying new asphalt outside or roofing.

“101 Industries is doing a lot of roofing on that roof,” he said.