July 18th, 2024

Towne Theatre owner would like to see somebody buy the building

By Gillian Slade on August 29, 2017.

The former Towne Theatre on fourth Street SE is no longer listed with a real estate agent but the owner says it is still for sale, eight months after a burst sprinkler flooded the building.--NEWS PHOTO GILLIAN SLADE


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Eight months after a burst sprinkler caused flooding to the old Towne Theatre on Fourth Street downtown, the cleanup is complete but the matter has not been settled with the insurance company, says the owner.

“I’m still not 100 per cent settled with my insurance,” said owner Laurence Gerritsen, who lives in B.C. “I’m getting on in age so I’m not sure I’m going to renovate it. If I could find someone else that would be a lot better.”

The building is no longer listed for sale with a real estate agent but Gerritsen says he would like to sell.

The Town Theatre has been vacant since 2007.

In the early hours of Dec. 19, 2016, a roof-top unit failed causing a sprinkler to burst. The ceilings of two small theatres on the top floor collapsed and high pressure water flowed down, affecting all six business premises at the street- level as well.

Only one of the tenants in the business premises has returned since the flood cleanup.

Asbestos in the drywall of the main theatre was one of the complications addressed in the cleanup process, said Gerritsen. That has all been removed now.

Other than the cleanup, no renovations of the building have been undertaken, said Gerritsen.

“It would be really good for somebody …” said Gerritsen. “I’d like to see somebody do something with the building.”

If nobody expresses an interest in buying the building, Gerritsen says he will renovate the office space at street level and seek more tenants.

In 2014, there was a proposal by Three Cool Guys Properties president Mike Waskalik to turn the former Towne Theatre into a nightclub. The Municipal Planning Commission approved the proposal but by February 2015, the planned nightclub and sale of the building fell through.

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