Green Thumb’s co-owner said the new owners are from within the same family and that the business will remain at its current location for at least two decades. NICHOLAS PESCOD/The News Bulletin

Recently sold Nanaimo nursery isn’t going anywhere

Green Thumb co-owner says development of property won’t happen for decades

A recently sold Nanaimo nursery will remain firmly planted at its current location for years to come, according to one of its owners.

The Green Thumb Garden Centre and Nurseries’ 18-hectare property was sold for an undisclosed amount earlier this year in what was described as the “largest land sale transaction by sale price in Nanaimo’s history” by Brad Bailey, associate vice-president with Colliers International Nanaimo.

Jarrett Gerke, Green Thumb co-owner, confirmed that the property has indeed sold, describing the transaction as an “estate sale.” He said the new owners are from within the Gerke family and that the business will remain at its current location for at least two decades.

“The plan is to keep the garden centre here for at least 20 to 25 years,” Gerke said.

Gerke, who did not disclose how much the property sold for, said it’s important for customers to know that they are not going anywhere and there will be no noticeable changes to the garden centre as a result of the sale.

“Really nothing is going to be a noticeable change anytime soon,” he said. “That’s the main thing.”

Located along the Island Highway, Uplands Drive and Hammond Bay Road, Green Thumb was founded by Gerhard and Gertrud Gerke, who have both since passed, more than five decades ago. It is now one of the largest nurseries on Vancouver Island.

Since news broke about the listing and eventual sale of Green Thumb, Gerke said there have been continual rumours about the fate of the property and the business. He said the rumours and frequent inquiries regarding the status of the business are hard on employees.

“We are constantly being asked when the blowout sale is because we sold,” he said. “That is obviously difficult on the staff and a bit of headache.”

Gerke said there is no concrete plan about the future of the property beyond 2038, but that the property will be developed in phases and not “all in one go.” He said he couldn’t comment on whether the property will one day be sold off to developers or if the family will develop it themselves, but said they own property in Nanoose, which will become the new home of Green Thumb someday.

“We will gradually work our way out of here,” he said. “We are always going to be around, it is just going to maybe be 10 minutes down the road.”

For more information regarding Green Thumb, visit www.greenthumbgardencentre.com


nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

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