Chilliwack Safeway lot nearing construction after 16 years

The site of the former downtown Safeway has been empty for 16 years, and the city says the developers have everything they need to start construction.

By Grace Kennedy | February 8, 2022 |5:01 am

A prime three-acre lot in downtown Chilliwack has been empty for 16 years, but City of Chilliwack staff now say construction could be imminent.

The site was previously home to Chilliwack’s downtown Safeway before it moved to Hodgins Avenue, and it was purchased in 2016 by Mann Group. Now the city says work may finally start on the property. That development company had planned to turn it into a purpose-built rental building, and expected to have it move-in ready by the summer of 2020. However, in 2018, drama ensued between the company and the council of the day, as the city decided to expropriate the properties for public parking and health services, the Chilliwack Progress reported. That expropriation was withdrawn and a subsequent lawsuit settled out of court.

Today, Mann Group is close to starting construction on the first phase of the project, which will see 183 units built in two apartment buildings, along with an amenity building and playground. The City of Chilliwack has those building permits ready to go, and is waiting for them to be picked up by the developer. The next stage of development will include two commercial buildings facing Main Street. Although the form and character designs of the project have been approved by council, the developer has yet not submitted any building permit applications.

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Grace Kennedy

Reporter at Fraser Valley Current

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