The last standing section of the former Jean Burns Building in downtown Nanaimo fell prey to the jaws of excavators on the weekend. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

UPDATE: Excavators move in to crush former downtown restaurant site

The final section of the former Jean Burns Building was reduced to rubble over the weekend

The sightlines at the intersection of Commercial Street and Terminal Avenue changed again Monday as the rubble of the last remaining portion of the former Jean Burns building was cleared away.

Excavators moved in over the weekend to demolish the section of the building that was home to Acme Foods Co. It was also one of the oldest sections of the building and was originally an automotive service station that opened in 1915.

Cleanup operations started last week, along with removal of any potentially hazardous building materials. The building was heavily damaged by fire in 2016 and most of it was torn down in March.

Rick Hyne, Crankshaw Holdings’ operating officer, said in an interview Tuesday that the site would be cleared of debris by Friday, Nov. 10, but some structural components of the site will have to remain to support sidewalks.

“The retaining walls and some structural members that are going to be left until we can get some other people in there to take a look at the structure and give us some idea of what it’s all made of and what its purposes are, where do we go from here and how do we take it down and how do we rebuild, if we’re going to go that route and things like that,” Hyne said.

Any future plans for the site are still up in the air and everything is on the table. If Crankshaw Holdings were to rebuild, its best option, from a cost recovery perspective, would be to build a structure at least six storeys tall.

Much depends upon the outcome of an ongoing battle Crankshaw Holdings is having with its insurance provider, which could pay to rebuild a replacement structure or offer a cash payout that would leave Crankshaw holdings free to pursue a range of possibilities within the limitations imposed by the size and shape of the pie-shaped lot, combined with modern setback requirements and site restrictions.

“For the time being right now, we are reacting,” Hyne said. “We’ve been reacting since March 30. Now that this is down, we can swing around and start pro-acting, so we can take a look at what our options are – sell, build or whatever – depending on what the other stakeholders want to do, that would be Jack’s [company owner Jack Ball] family, and do they want to do something with it, or do we sell of the land or what?”

The goal for the moment, he said, is to clean up the site and make it safe.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP community policing needs a few good volunteers

Volunteers needed to help Nanaimo RCMP and city deliver crime prevention and safety programs

RDN signs deal with Nanaimo Recycling Exchange to conduct waste audits

RDN working on mandatory waste-separation bylaw for industrial, commercial, institutional sectors

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to Nanaimo

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

Conservation officers free fawn stuck in fence in Nanaimo

Fawn was uninjured after getting caught in fence in Hammond Bay area Wednesday

Nanaimo resident wins human rights tribunal case over wheelchair accessibility at condo complex

Tribunal awards $35,000, says concerns weren’t addressed until human rights complaint had been lodged

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Nanaimo council gives school district permission to demolish Franklyn Street gym

Heritage alteration permit issued for unused, fire-damaged building

Arson suspected in fire that destroyed Nanaimo second-hand store

RCMP, Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigating early morning fire set at entrance of Townsite Road shop

Most Read