Friday, March 15, 2024

Stalled Gateway plans make for Council Discussion from Monday's session

The Downtown Core revitalization map from the Vision 2030 presentation

The anticipation of a few years ago, towards a new, strategic entry point  for the downtown core; has given way to some resignation around the Council camber it seems when it comes to the plans of the Gateway initiative.

That as the ambitious outlook for the Gateway project, part of the city's vision for the future, has stalled and may not be realized by 2030.

The Gateway plans  came out  of the wide ranging vision plan delivered by urban planner Larry Beasley in December of 2019, the land that makes up the four corners at Third West and McBride considered a key element of the renewal for the downtown core.

There has been some progress seen towards development of the four corners,  the Court House side was selected by the City as the location for the New RCMP detachment, that structure continuing on with its construction pace.

The old Dairy Queen building which had become a downtown eyesore in its latter years, was demolished in 2022, that  after its purchase in the fall of 2018 by Northern Savings. Though so far there are no indications that anything is the planning stage to rise from the massive hole that has been left behind.

Plans championed by the city last year for Non Market Housing on the lot across from it on the Third West side seem to have gone for naught, while on the other corner; the lament of Councillor Adey on Monday evening of the past glory of the Green Apple restaurant serves as the narrative for that still empty lot on McBride.

Those  themes made for some of the discussion at Monday night's Council session, the Gateway plans discussion coming out of the approval of a Remedial order for another structure in disrepair, that on McBride.

Councillor Nick Adey was the first to take the Gateway theme on the night.

"I just note that this particular location, it is also part of town that has been identified as the Gateway to the Downtown area, it's a very strategic location in terms of redeveloping downtown. 

So I'm curious about, other than what would be in my view the best thing to happen and that's to have the Green Apple reconstructed  in that location. If we can't have that, I'm wondering what consideration we might have in one of either the following events.

One that the building is actually taken down as a result of this process and what then might then might emerge in its place at this strategic location.  

And the other would be, if in fact the alternative happens and there is reconsideration and some  remediation do we have any either recourse, or desire to have a voice in what might take place there, given the central location of that building."

Towards that question, City Manager Robert Buchan observed on elements of the Official Community plan and how the city views development for that area.

"I'm struggling to come up with a good answer on this, our Official  Community Plan lays out a vision for the downtown, you know, we encourage private development to occur in accordance with that. 

We don't have any plans for that property at this point, because it's not ours. There's a process to go through. 

One of the options is that indeed the owners do, come up with a proposal in writing for Council consideration. So it's really to early to speak to what might go there in its place"

Councillor Cunningham also weighed in on the current status of the Gateway initiative, offering up some thoughts.

"That whole corner with the exception of the RCMP building is privately owned and the Gateway project was going to be on the other side and it's stalled. 

So you know, like the two lots where the Credit Union had cleared up and I have heard nothing more about, and a lot of people wonder what's going on there at the Credit Union site, as well as the vacant  lot across from it.

There was artists renditions of what it was going to be and things like that, three or four years ago  and nothing's been done.

So if there's lack of development on that side of the road with that deep hole there it would be interesting, what somebody would put in there, but you know,  they would have to have deep pockets to put something in there.

Like Councillor Adey says, it's a prime location and as you come into the city it would be nice to see something there."

For his contribution to the Gateway theme, Mayor Pond provided a recap of the plans outlined five years ago.

"Just for people that may not be fully acquainted with the 2030 plan. But, the notion of  a Gateway District which is kind of the  link to all the other districts. 

That whole hub is considered that, the RCMP building is certainly a significant improvement in that corner, when it's completed I think it will be a very beautiful building.

But you're absolutely right, there are other corners there, that need to be developed for that Gateway vision to emerge" 

The Full discussion to the theme is available from the City's Video archive, starting at the 7:30 mark of the session. 

You can review the 2030 Vision plan here, offering a chance to see what kind of progress has been made so far towards the ambitious blue print.

Our Archive of notes on the Gateway initiative and other elements of the 2030 Vision plan can be explored here.

More notes on civic planning in Prince Rupert can be reviewed here.

A wider overview of Monday's Council session can be explored from our archive page.


  1. Until this city’s funding is stabilized there should just be maintenance on existing infrastructure. Go ahead with the repairs to waterline and roadways. Repair the bridges, fix traffic lights, fix existing sidewalks and maintain the trails.
    One novel idea, how about painting some yellow lines for a change. I am getting real tired of people driving at me on my side of the road.

    1. Yes. Agreed.

    2. Yes let’s maintain or improve what we have fully agreed we are not a big metropolis so let’s stop acting like one, let’s beautify what little do have.


    How many qualified developers responded?

    The city has developed policies that encourage development, surely you got a response.

  3. The city’s big city planning. As the town deteriorates the taxpayer would be happy with the basics. The grandiose plan of a few didn’t make much sense and still doesn’t.

  4. I’m still confused why the plan shows all these trees in the mall and Safeway parking lots.. oh and all these “pocket parks”. Where are those?

  5. I’m sure he’s a nice enough man, but I shudder at the thought of a member of council suggesting the Green Apple should be rebuilt. It’s that kind of backward thinking that’s got us in the trouble we are in. With all the things the city needs, that’s the best option he can think of?

    1. Yes let’s just rebuild the town in all its glory as she once was, at least it was presentable at one point now, it’s embarrassing to tell someone where I’m from now

    2. The Pride was lost at city hall quite a while ago. It was replaced with unobtainable nonsensical vision. The sad part is the amount of money and time wasted.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    4. This is the first time I’ve looked at the 2030 drawing. It seems to depict loping 200 plus feet off Rupert Square. Didn’t anyone question this when council accepted it.

  6. They should have just left the old Dairy Queen building where it was, looked better then the bomb hole that they created in its place, that has been left for over a year. I wonder if it will still be a hole in the ground eyesore for as long as the Dairy Queen building was. My bet is on yes.

  7. They are focusing on the empty lots that have been eyesores for years...what about all the new empty lots (fire tear downs etc.) that are "new". Across from Tim's, the old Belmont, across from Safeway and beside Ocean Center Mall (supposedly a community garden). Give permission to bring businesses in and revitalize this dying has potential !