KAMLOOPS - A decision on the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s future headquarters is coming this fall.
While all options are on the table, the crown corporation’s president, Jim Lightbody, says its very likely the corporation’s headquarter will stay on the downtown Kamloops property it’s already located on, but what the future looks like is to be determined.
“We’re very happy here in the downtown core, it’s a great piece of real estate,” he says. "There's no need to look further."
There are four options on the table for the future, though. One is to stay in the current building and renovate it extensively.
Alternatively, they could build their own building to suit. If the crown corporation decides it doesn’t want to deal with land issues, Lightbody says selling the land to a developer and then leasing space inside that finished development is possible.
Lastly, the corporation could collaborate with a developer in some way to develop a mixed used situation.
“To do this responsibly we have to look at every conceivable option,” Lightbody says.
Renovations are a challenge he says, and the option of selling to a developer and then leasing has long term financial implications.
The current structure is over 50 years old and used to be a Woodwards department store. After 31 years in that location the crown corporation started looking at it's options last May. Lightbody says the current structure is aging out and serious renovations needed if it’s to stay in use, including the HVAC system and generators.
If the corporation decides on a new building, that doesn’t necessarily mean the old one will be knocked down. Lightbody says the corporation owns enough property at the location to build something new and leave the current structure intact.
Any construction is going to include new space, though, because the lottery corporation is growing. Lightbody says they’ve increased staff at the headquarters over the last three years and intend to continue. The future headquarters is likely to include the corporation’s data centre as well.
The crown corporation issued a request on B.C. Bid today, April 4, to find developers and contracting companies to help them come up with a plan for the headquarters. Lightbody expects the corporation to have a direction determined by the fall, with more details a year from now.
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