Friday, August 19, 2022

Few signs of momentum to date for proposed Civic Works Facility on Portage Avenue

Mayor Lee Brain and Operations Director Richard Pucci
in front of the McCarthy GM building in March

It was one of the more prominent features of the June State of the City presentation from Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain, yet two months after the Lester Centre presentation and five months since the proposed lease for the McCarthy GM building was first announced, there's little progress to be seen from the outside of the Portage Avenue location of the former Prince Rupert car dealership.

The former McCarthy GM location on Portage Avenue has been
proposed as the new home for the City Public Works Department

The first word of the proposed plan for the site came from Operations Director Richard Pucci in March when he outlined the city's vision for the location,  observing of an estimated 750,000 dollars of renovations to be required, the work to be paid for through a dividend from Prince Rupert Legacy Incorporated.

Though that figure was perhaps mostly a ball park figure of anticipated cost, until further review could fully explore the cost of transition from car dealership to civic facility. 

"At this point right now we are leasing it for five years, we do have the exclusive option to purchase at the end of that five years if we see fit. 

We are looking at doing some significant upgrades, the number that is in the budget is 750,000 dollars.

We put that as a larger budget item, though we don't think it will be that much, but we've seen with COVID some significant creep associated with costs and numbers, so we anticipate that may happen. 

So we put a larger budget, if we don't need the money, we will definitely not be using the money" -- Operations Director Richard Pucci in March of 2022 outlining the scope of the city's plans for the McCarthy GM property
Whether that number of 750,000 dollars has held firm or not, or whether some unanticipated COVID creep surprises were delivered, has not been updated by either Mr Pucci or City Council since the June State of the City presentation.

The only Council session for August comes up this Monday evening, so perhaps a review of some of the high profile projects currently underway may include the plans for the Portage Avenue site and its future as home for the Public Works Department.

More notes on Council themes can be reviewed from our archive page here.

An overview of the Operations Department can be explored here.

1 comment:

  1. How much tax revenue is the city missing out on by not having a business in this location?

    It is one thing to talk about the associated cost of the lease, it is another to factor in the missed economic opportunity on this property.