The city is getting down to business when it comes to filling a prime piece of real estate in downtown Trail.
It’s been almost a year since the old library space in the Trail Memorial Centre was closed to give staff time to pack up books and collections before relocating to the new Riverfront Centre.
So last week, an official invitation or RFP (Request for Proposal) was issued for anyone interested in moving in – and leasing – the 4,500-square foot room that includes a small office and kitchen as well as nearby wheelchair-accessible washrooms.
“City council has agreed to lease this space to a third-party organization, private sector, non-profit or otherwise,” says Trisha Davison, director of recreation. “And a process is being undertaken, which allows all interested parties the opportunity to express their interest in this space.”
Anyone can apply, but not just anyone can move in.
A key factor, Davison explained, is that future use must be in “alignment with the recommendations from the Master Plan and the overall financial value of the lease.”
What that means, is whoever ends up in the room must meet some specific goals the city has set.
For starters, Davison says the leasee should “create a vibrant, inviting and relevant environment that will connect customers to re-assert the facility’s prominence in the community.”
Additionally, the venue should increase foot traffic and meet “current needs and emerging community recreation interest and lifestyle trends.”
Finally, the arena is an expensive place to run. So it is expected that the revenue value of the lease should help improve financial viability and, in turn, minimize tax subsidies required to sustain operations.
While it’s too early to speculate what business or organization may end up being successful, Davison says the space has generated interest, and a few inquiries, over the past year.
There is no set date for filling the locale, though the deadline for submissions is Jan. 16.
“It is our intent to evaluate the submissions and provide a recommendation to council in late January,” Davison said. “When the space would become occupied by a new tenant will be determined by many factors. Proponents are asked to provide a timeline to this effect as part of their submission.”
The city commissioned a Trail Park and Recreation Master Plan Five years ago. Within the report are recommendations on what the city should consider when filling the vacated library space. (The report recognized plans were in development to move the library into downtown) These guiding principles form the evaluation criteria for proposal submissions including how well prospective use aligns with service delivery of the recreation department.
The space will lease on an “as is” basis allowing the leasee to update the space to suit their interests and needs. The City of Trail intends to update the HVAC unit servicing the area, remove but not replace the existing flooring to exposed concrete, and remove wall coverings to exposed studs. With approval from the city, the tenant would then be responsible for all leasehold improvements to the space.