3.1 C
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Connecting Our Communities

Renovations of Elmira’s Village Shoppes nearing completion

Developer ran into a long list of issues in repurposing a building set up for open retail use as Brox’s Olde Towne Village


Restored Victorian home in Elmira the subject of TV competition

Along with the influx of visitors that comes with the holiday season, Elmira will see one new...

New MP jumps to the next stage

Ever since he was elected as the new Liberal Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga during the October...

End of an era for MP

Two weeks having passed since the federal election, Harold Albrecht has had time to reflect on his...

Meet the candidates

By Veronica Reiner & Aneta Rebiszewski Five candidates are vying for your vote in...


overcast clouds
3.1 ° C
6 °
0 °
70 %
90 %
6 °
7 °
5 °
2 °
1 °

The Village Shoppes is about three months away from being ready for tenants to move into its retail and office space currently undergoing extensive renovations in Elmira’s downtown.

Crews have been visible in and outside of the building for many months doing demolition and changing the building’s layout.

“We’ve taken out all of the walls. The problem with the building was that it was so many different levels,” said Gavin Fitzpatrick, vice-president of business development at The Kain Group, while on site on Monday.

Woolwich Total Health Pharmacy is the only business that stayed on when The Kain Group announced their plans for renovations last year. The pharmacy is moving to the front of the building, nearly doubling in size.

The building will include four spaces on the first floor, one being the pharmacy, and another four on the second floor. The spaces can be combined, though, to make larger offices.

Artist conceptual drawing of exterior of Village Shoppes building located at 10 Church St. W., Elmira

The plan is for the first floor to be retail and the second floor to be offices. There is no plan for the basement as of yet. The company considered making it residential, but decided against it.

“What we’re planning on is 1,000- to 1,500-square-foot spaces possibly, if people need more we can certainly do more. On the main floor, we have one space that could be 6,000-square feet.”

Fitzpatrick says the design was one of the biggest challenges because of the multiple levels in the building, as well as trying to envision how to best use the space. He expects tenants to be able to move in by April.

“It was built as a single retail building and that has implications with things like fire code, for example. You have to have a wall between separate businesses that takes a long time to burn. Getting the building to the point where you could divide it up, dividing it up changes your heating system, it changes your sprinklers, it changed everything.”

The next largest challenge was the scope of work and making sure that they made the building flexible, efficient, and hopefully appealing to the eye.

“The architect spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get the flow of the building right.”

Some businesses decided to set up shop elsewhere because of the rising cost of common area fees. They’ve changed the layout to decrease the common area and added energy efficiencies like new windows, better insulating and lighting to bring down heating and electricity costs as well.

“It turns out when we got into it, it was definitely time for us to be doing this.”

He says they’ve already had interest in the building and they could see offices on the second floor being used by a company looking for an open space outside of the city.

“We’re noticing some of the tech companies are interested in getting a bit out of town. There are lots of possibilities. We’re hoping to get some interest over the next few weeks.”

Plans for the exterior of the building call for a change of the colour palette, grey with charcoal grey trim and a copper stripe around the middle. He says they wanted to renovate the outside to fit in with the downtown and not stick out like a sore thumb, but also be recognizable.

“We’re trying to make sure that we build a building that’s going to be worth the effort we put into it. The whole thing was to make the building leasable and getting the levels sorted out was certainly a big part of that. Esthetics are obviously huge as well.”

They’ve taken off the balcony from the top floor of the front of the building which brings the building further back from the sidewalk, lending itself to a patio for a restaurant or coffee shop.

“What we’re trying to do is build a flexible space so that we have as many opportunities to do things with it that we can. We don’t want to close any doors on ourselves.”

Downtown location about three months away from re-opening.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


New watering system is powered by the sun

Many hands may make light work, but automating the process really lessens the load. That’s especially helpful when the work involves relying on volunteers to provide the manual labour.

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Virgil Wins the Lottery … but, then again, maybe not

It’s easy to day dream about striking it rich quick by winning the lottery, and all the possibilities that come along with...

Woolwich stays course with economic development

Woolwich’s vacant economic development and tourism officer (EDTO) position will be retained, councillors decided this week despite any numbers or measures to show...

Junior girls’ capture EDSS’ first WCSSAA basketball title

In a season that already saw the team rack up win after win, the EDSS junior girls’ basketball team reached new heights...

Sugar Kings turn the screws on Brampton

Another home-and-home winning weekend helped the Elmira Sugar Kings solidify their hold on top spot in the GOJHL’s Midwestern Conference. A pair of...

Pair of convincing wins sees Jacks improve record

A pair of wins last weekend saw the Wellesley Applejacks jump a notch in the PJHL standings to claim second place in...

New St. Clements fire station officially open for service

The new fire station in St. Clements was officially declared open for service last Saturday. The $1.3-million project...
- Advertisement -