In 2017, the Gitga’at Development Corporation (GDC) bought a large office building in downtown Prince Rupert.
We bought the building with funds provided through Coast Funds for the specific purpose of providing a permanent space for providing services to Gitga’at membership and the Prince Rupert community.
Why We Invested in this Property
The building at 632 3rd Avenue is in the downtown core of Prince Rupert. It is a 10,000 square foot building that offers lots of space and potential.
Our members in Prince Rupert needed a central place to gather and call our own. We also needed a place that the elders of our community can access.
This building supports all Gitga’at community members. After the renovations (described below) are completed, not only will the building look amazing, it will provide:
- a convenient, fully accessible, elders’ center; and
- a place for Gitga’at meetings and training on the second floor and provides employment opportunities through Rinse Rupert laundry.
GDC manages the building on behalf of the Nation. Gitga’at owns and operates Rinse Rupert Laundromat and also leases space to Lee and Ann’s Restaurant as well as to other organizations and businesses in the community needing short-term meeting space. In this way, we can earn some money to put into other community projects.
An Update on Renovations
Good things take time. Step one was to buy the building, step two is to make it better. After a lot of planning and thought, and securing funding through the Province of BC, the renovations are in full swing.
Since buying the building, we completely gutted and renovated the former Mommy’s Laundry, now known as Rinse Rupert Laundry. After bringing it down to the bolts, we had to install absolutely everything. The space used all new materials and we are very pleased with the results.
In April 2021, we officially began the improvements: the awning came off; we did some test drilling to ensure the new awning would be well supported; structural drawings were reviewed and finalized, and BC Hydro moved some high voltage wires and we were away to the races.
May was a busy month as all the scaffolding was put in place around virtually the whole building. The development permit was approved, which allowed us to order the building materials. Insulation started going in, and power lines were wrapped for safety.
In late June, we started removing the old single-pane windows and preparing the existing windows for the installation of new framing and high-efficiency double-pane windows. As well, the exterior has been prepared for the new exterior panels and we’re planing and sanding the building’s cedar trims. The awning brackets were also specially fabricated to be installed before the new awning arrives.
More Progress On the Way
Now that we’ve started renovations, there’s no slowing down now! We look forward to sharing more updates with you soon.