Filling the gaps

Council plans to find out where there are vacant business premises, and
what it can do to have them filled

Cranbrook city council wants to know exactly where there are vacant business premises downtown, and formulate a plan to attract new business to fill those spaces.

Councillor Angus Davis asked staff to put together an inventory of the city’s vacant facilities in the downtown area after the Giant Tiger department store closed last month in the Baker Street Mall.

“That poor little shopping centre is like an orphan sitting at the end of Baker Street. There is all that space and nothing is happening to it,” said Davis.

He hopes that the city can work with the Downtown Business Association and the Chamber of Commerce to inject enthusiasm in Cranbrook’s centre.

“With all these smart people in this community, if we get together and look at what we have, perhaps we can do something with it,” said Davis. “We’ve got lots of good business people. With their minds and ideas, we can do something to help fill some of these things in.”

The city’s economic development officer Kevin Weaver said now is a good time to consider business opportunities.

“I think it’s timely that we have some of these discussions,” said Weaver.

“Our current economic development strategy is to start beefing up business retention and expansion programs. We are now in a position to start moving it forward.”