Revitalizing Mission’s downtown core has been on many business owners’ wish list for years. And now, as long as everything goes to plan, it could soon become a reality.
Construction is tentatively set to begin in two months (March 19) but there is still a lot of work to be done and contracts to award before anything happens.
Jay Jackman, manager of development, engineering and projects for the District of Mission, said he wants it made clear that “we have an approved budget, but we don’t have a contract with a contractor.”
Currently, there is a live competition going on to accept bids to perform the work needed.
The competition is scheduled to close on Feb. 8, but Jackman said a contractor can make a formal request for a tender extension and it could be extended to Feb. 15.
“Either way, it will close mid-February and then we will review for compliance and that it fits the approved budget.”
The district has stated in the past that the work will cost $3.5 million.
Jackman said if any of the bids pass all of the criteria, a report will be presented to council on March 5 and a contract will be awarded.
“After that, things should fall into place quickly.”
Hopefully, work can be complete by Aug. 31.
In September 2016, council unanimously decided to invest $3.5 million into a First Avenue streetscape improvement project in the downtown core. The project will span three blocks, from Horne Street to Grand Street.
Jamie Hayes, executive director of the Mission Downtown Business Association, said now that it is 2018, the revitalization seems even more real.
“We’ve been talking about it for almost a year and a half and are eager to see things get started and are excited about how beautiful everything will look upon completion, but we are also nervous about the impact of the construction.
“Communication is a top priority for our merchants and the community as a whole. Our goal is to nail down a solid communication strategy so that everyone knows what is happening and when it happens. This is the very first revitalization for most of our merchants and certainly this is the most comprehensive one to date, so we are all new at this.”