Fresh changes have come to what was formerly a run-down strip mall in downtown Langley.
The plaza at Fraser Highway and 206 Street was purchased by Elevate Development Corporation when the organization’s owner, Gord MacPherson, recognized the potential to refurbish the site to create an attractive new focal point for tenants and patrons alike.
“We’re a local development company and we were having to look outside of the Lower Mainland for projects to develop or redevelop,” he said. “It’s a property I’ve known for years.”
Now known as Fraser 206, the complex will have its renovations complete as soon as paving and landscaping are finished. Waiting for those final touches hasn’t prevented the first tenant, Submission Spin Club from opening their doors and inviting patrons in.
“They are already up and running,” MacPherson said of the first tenant. “We’re really going through the retenanting [process] right now.”
The 28,000 square foot shopping centre had fallen into disrepair over the years. Some of the buildings were about 30 years old while others had been rebuilt about 15 years ago following a fire. Unfortunately, the roofs were leaking and previous tenants complained of air conditioning systems that only worked sporadically. MacPherson knew this was a diamond in the rough.
“From our standpoint we just wanted to freshen up the building, “he noted. “The buildings just looked tired.”
Flat roofs were replaced, cedar shingles became new durable metal roofing systems, new air conditioners were brought online and all the brick received a much-needed fresh coat of paint.
“We were really hoping to put a bank back in the city, as was the mayor, but none were interested,” he explained, but added that the new look will likely work to create more redevelopment in the downtown area. “I would like to think that it’s a real positive influence.”
With plenty of parking and proximity to the future-proposed light rail system, access to Fraser 206 will be easy.
Overall, the project was a success in MacPherson’s eyes despite it being more expensive than anticipated, though there were no major surprises.
“I’d like to say we’re going to be a catalyst for more of this,” he said. “Given how positive the support of the mayor has been and the staff, I’d say it [Fraser 206] has a real bright future. It’s been a good project and we’re very proud of how it’s turned out.”