I’m certain many of you are wondering how development of our new site is progressing. The simple answer is that there are some really positive forward moves, but everything is happening much too slowly!
So, what is happening?
The interior design is finalized . Because we are delayed, we had time to do more research and discussion with similar programs in North America. We realized our space may be a tad small and that this factor could negatively effect our programming. A 604 square foot space immediately adjacent to our 2400 square foot gym was available to rent. We acted upon this.
By adding a second room, we can locate our “Living Room” and Reception areas in that space thereby freeing up 700 square feet or so of space to be used for active programs in the gym. Sandra and I had an opportunity this winter to spend time at Banner Health Systems Parkinson’s Wellness Centre in Gilbert Arizona. They operate very much as we expect to operate in our home. It was clear to both of us after viewing operations there that the decision to add space here was absolutely necessary . This will be hugely beneficial to our programs.
Supplies and equipment are being ordered and delivered. If you drive by the site, (Blanshard and Hillside) you will see a lime green storage container in the parking lot. That is our warehouse!
Progress is being made . But, the Landlord’s component is much, much too slow! This week we received a letter from the Landlord apologizing for the many delays , and offering to allow us to exit the Lease Agreement if we wished. He said, “ we have delays on other construction projects elsewhere, but 2680 Blanshard is the worst and not what we aim for.”
Your Board has given the idea of walking away serious consideration; however , our survey of available space in the Greater Victoria Area along with sky-rocketing rental rates tells us we are better off staying with our current site.
The Landlord, by the way, operates a large and very professional organization with property across Canada and in Europe. Even with their considerable expertise and experience, they have failed to take this project to closure in a timely manner . I guess this speaks to the magnitude of the economic boom in this City.
The Landlord’s letter tells us that late August will likely be the earliest turnover date to our group.
Our internal renovations will begin then but thankfully, they will be minimal as we wish to keep as much space as open as possible.
So, some progress! Some delays! But, every time I walk the site I get so excited at what we will soon have to offer the entire Parkinson’s community of Victoria.
If you wish, contact me directly at my email address or by phone. I’m happy to try and answer any question you might have or to receive your advice.
Best Regards To All
(Building Construction Committee Head)