City Sells Former Tembec Property to Peak Renewables

The sale of the former Tembec industrial lands on Theatre Road in Cranbrook is now official, with Peak Renewables the new owners.

The sale of the property was completed earlier this week for $6 million. The property was originally purchased by the City for $3 million in 2018, resulting in a significant profit of almost double the original investment. The profit from the sale will be directed toward future initiatives supporting jobs and tax revenues.


“This is a strategic move intended to leverage our position as the regional hub, aligns with our regional economic initiatives and provides growth in new and emerging technologies,” Mayor Pratt adds. “We, as a City, spent the last three years working hard on the vision and delivering that vision. Our entire team deserves much credit on this project from engineering, planning and business development. They all played an important role in making this possible.”

“The potential for new, good paying jobs for our residents, new tax dollars, new growth and economic development opportunities for the City, is very exciting,” Mayor Pratt notes. “We look forward to seeing what the future holds for this important piece of industrial land and we will work with Peak Cranbrook Properties to help them realize their goals.”

“Peak Renewables and Brian Fehr bring decades of success and innovation in the forestry sector to Cranbrook,” says Darren Brewer, Business Development Officer for the City of Cranbrook. “Brian is known as a pioneer in automation and for launching artificial intelligence in the mills. His work continues by bringing new and innovative solutions for biomass and cross-laminated timber to market.”

The land sale will benefit the City and residents with new jobs and tax revenues to fund City services, and the direct cash profit from the proceeds of the sale for future initiatives. Discussions between Council and staff are underway to find ways to create long-term financial returns from the sale proceeds that can be used to help fund new projects and investment in the community.


“Our economic forecast predicts hundreds of good paying jobs supporting our local economy, and this announcement will significantly add to the City’s ability to attract new investment,” says Brewer, adding, “we knew this would happen. We knew capital would follow smart people with good ideas. This is a great announcement for everyone in Cranbrook.”

Creative Redevelopment Planned for Former Canadian Tire Property

Kanas Corporation, a company known for innovative solutions and a triple bottom line approach, has purchased the building and land at 1100 Victoria Avenue North.

“This fits very well within our housing strategy and will be a huge benefit to our overall economic development plan. We are very pleased to see this investment in Cranbrook,” says Mayor Lee Pratt. “The former Canadian Tire site has been given a new life. There are new jobs and new homes on the horizon because of this re-development.”

Kanas President Robert Sipka agrees, “We, too, are pleased with this investment. We are impressed with the opportunities to grow within the East Kootenay, and believe Cranbrook is a great place to begin that growth.”

Next steps for Kanas include:

  • Adding a solar panel array to the existing building to reduce its future environmental footprint.
  • Developing a master plan for the property, together with local and regional stakeholders.
  • Applying to change the OCP and zoning of the property to allow for a mix of uses.

Initial use discussions include adding a residential building to the North. Environmentally- healthy, accessible housing is one of Kanas’ clear strengths. Housing purpose-built to meet the needs of Cranbrook’s diverse population is a clear need, as identified in the City’s recent Housing Needs Report.

The existing building, at 44,400 sq. feet, could be used as a storage, assembly, and logistics hub, given its proximity to Highway 3. Or it could house a craft brewery, commercial bakery, glass-blowing studio, or other creative workspaces. Kanas welcomes expressions of interest.

Small Business Week – Get Your Taste of the #EatLocalYXC Festival

Celebrate and help support local food entrepreneurs during Small Business Week with the first-ever #EatLocalYXC Festival in a series of fun and engaging Facebook Live events and deals showcasing culinary artisans in Cranbrook and Kimberley.

How does it work? Beginning Thursday October 22 and running until November 15, score deals from local restaurants and tune into the #EatLocalYXC Festival every Thursday. It is a chance to go behind the scenes online at local restaurants and get to know the business owners in the region.

“Cranbrook is the retail centre of the region,” says Darren Brewer, Business Development Manager for the City of Cranbrook. “The #EatLocalYXC Festival dovetails nicely with Small Business Week. We have a lot of great businesses in Cranbrook and we need people to come out and support them. The biggest part of our economy is retail.”


This kind of online event comes at the perfect time for businesses who all must adapt to how COVID-19 is impacting their livelihoods. “We have a good audience. It is about getting people to change their business; you have to go online to help support your own business. This is where you will find unrealized revenue”, Brewer says.

The #EatLocalYXC festival aims to do just that. Participants will engage with the business owners and learn their tips, tricks, and secrets – without having to leave their homes or workspaces. During the sessions, some of the businesses will create their favourite recipes and drinks and tell people about their showcase menus and other incentives they are offering all month long.

Brandi Boothman, one of those, along with FestivalSeekers, who is spearheading the four-week event, says our communities are home to many talented chefs and food artisans passionate about feeding locals and they are eager to get involved.

“Because so many people get their information from social media, the #EatLocalYXC Festival Facebook Lives and festival offers are the perfect vehicle to engage with people and learn about their entrepreneurial neighbours along the way,” Boothman says.

“It’s good exposure. Every time someone likes and shares and comments on restaurants, it helps expand their reach” to fans and then friends and family of fans.

Brewer says shopping and eating local has been identified as the highest priority during COVID-19. “Small businesses need our help. It’s a gap we can fill.”

Here are some of restaurants and the times and dates they will be participating in weekly online Facebook Live events:

  • Ella’s Café (Oct. 22, 3 p.m.)
  • Bohemian Spirits (Oct. 23, 11 a.m.)
  • The Nest (Oct. 29, 3 p.m.)
  • Chaos Coffee (Oct. 29, 4 p.m.)
  • The Heidout (Nov. 12, 3 p.m.)
  • Sweet Gestures Chocolate Shoppe (Nov. 12, 10 a.m.)

Stay tuned for more details, and get a taste of the #EatLocalYXC event on Festival Seekers Facebook page.

Innovation at Work: Announcing the #LiveLocal #EatLocalYXC Festival

The City of Cranbrook, along with its partners, are excited to announce the first annual #LiveLocal #EatLocalYXC Festival kicking off Oct. 22, 2020.

“There is no question, 2020 has forced many in our business community across the region, to innovate and manage some pretty unique situations,” said Darren Brewer, Cranbrook’s Business Development officer.

“The City, along with our colleagues within Ktunaxa and Kimberley, have been watching the trends to see how our entrepreneurs, producers and creators are going to be successful through this year and going forward,” Brewer added.

Consider some of these facts:

  • Several studies have found there has been a huge spike in Canadians’ collective screen time. A September 2020 Harvard Business Review reports social media, video and content marketing are THE forms of communication for business in our “new normal.”
  • According to Statistic Canada, year-over-year, e-commerce sales have more than doubled, reporting a 110.8 per cent increase since May 2019.

The #LiveLocal #EatLocalYXC Festival capitalizes on these trends by empowering Ktunaxa, Cranbrook and Kimberley’s entrepreneurs, producers and creators with digital media education and promotion allowing them to harness the changing landscape of e-commerce.

“Digital media education is critical for our business community in 2020,” said Janice Alpine, #LiveLocal festival partner and director of the Kootenay Aboriginal Business Development Agency (KABDA). “They need to be able to do more online that generates awareness and ultimately sales.”

Launching Thursday, Oct. 22 and running through Nov. 12, 2020, those who shop local across our three communities are invited to “tune in” to a series of Facebook LIVE events, hosted by Cranbrook, Kimberley and Ktunaxa’s business community on their Facebook pages. The collection of Facebook lives includes virtual tours and the ability to “go behind the scenes” at some of our top regional offerings.

The City has partnered with the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, Kimberley, and District Chamber of Commerce, KABDA, the City of Kimberley, Cranbrook Tourism and Community Futures East Kootenay to make this unique experience a reality.  Thanks to Columbia Basin Trust for funding a portion of the initiative.

“We’ve recruited Seekers Media to support the Festival’s production, a Western Canadian award winner in advancing local business opportunities through social and digital media,” said Brewer. He added Cranbrook Economic Development has been following the success of Seekers Media’s efforts in Alberta, which garnered them the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association award.

“With this template, we knew it would be a perfect fit for our community’s strategy in supporting our small business,” added Brewer.

Seekers Media founder Jim Barr explained the process, in which businesses are encouraged to join the free festival, where they will receive one-on-one training on the art of using their smartphone as a content generation and business development tool. “With an increased online presence, this template has shown increased sales for those participating, while encouraging more people to #LiveLocal and shop local,” Barr said.

For more about #LiveLocal #EatLocalYXC, check out the event’s Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/events/451960912446796/.

For those businesses interested in learning more, they are encouraged to reach out to KABDA or to the Cranbrook and Kimberley Chambers of Commerce, but do not delay as space is limited.

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