News

Burned-out downtown Nanaimo building set to come down this weekend

Eddie Harris, a worker on the Jean Burns building demolition project, cuts through steel security fencing Tuesday so crews can gain access to the building’s basement. The building is scheduled to be torn down early Sunday morning (March 19). - CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin
Eddie Harris, a worker on the Jean Burns building demolition project, cuts through steel security fencing Tuesday so crews can gain access to the building’s basement. The building is scheduled to be torn down early Sunday morning (March 19).
— image credit: CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

An historic building in downtown Nanaimo will be demolished on the weekend.

Crankshaw Holdings, which owns the Jean Burns building at the corner of Commercial Street and Terminal Avenue, announced Monday the portion of the building that was heavily damaged in a fire nearly one year ago will be torn down Sunday (March 19). Throughout the week crews have surrounded the structure with construction fencing and have been making preparations for the demolition.

“The portion of the building that was burned will be torn down and then we will see what we do with this section,” Rick Hyne, Crankshaw Holdings property manager, said at the site Tuesday.

Hyne was referring to the section of the building that once housed the Acme Food Co. restaurant. That section, along with a section of what was the original structure, both of which were protected from direct fire damage by a fire wall, will be left standing, at least temporarily.

The building tear-down is scheduled to start at 6 a.m. and be completed by 9 a.m.

Commercial Street from Victoria Crescent to Terminal Avenue will be closed after midnight until the tear-down is complete and there will be no through traffic from Albert Street or Victoria Crescent to Commercial Street.

Hyne said the building demolition is being carried out in the early morning hours when there is a minimal amount of traffic downtown.

Crews will attempt to keep noise and vibration from the work site to a minimum.

During the cleanup phase of the project, which could last up to 20 business days, one southbound lane of Terminal Avenue from Commercial Street to the China Steps will see temporary closures.

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