Bruce family taking slow approach to its project on Government Street

Baby steps are the Bruce family's path to building a residential and commercial project on Government Street hill.

Roger Bruce and planner Chris Hall recently addressed Duncan council about the as-yet unnamed project along Government between Herbert and Cairnsmore streets.

The partially treed property has been owned by the Bruce family for decades since patriarch, Preston, began Bruce's Grocery there.

The original Bruce's building will remain, Roger Bruce said, and the family will continue leasing its newer Bruce's building to 49th Parallel store.

The remainder of the wedge-shape property will see a two-story building with 21 condos on top, plus 5,000-odd square feet of commercial space — for businesses such as a coffee shop, medical offices, and a hair dressing salon — on the ground level.

Architectural and landscaping designs are pending Bruce getting a city development permit he and Hall are now working with staff to get.

The idea is to work with city hall and satisfy all regulations.

"We're doing it step by step. No one's in any hurry to put up any buildings," Bruce said of the development process reaching back 10 years when brother, Garry, stoked the project to fit the areas' residential character.

The project has proper commercial zoning.

"We're just working with the city on traffic flow, and parking."

"This project is actually small in scale when it comes to the overall neighbourhood," Bruce said of surrounding older homes, 7-Eleven store, and historic Duncan Elementary School.

He cited a consultant's study showing "there won't have any delays on traffic as it currently its, but the city definitely has to address the (Government-Cairnsmore) intersection at some time."

Meanwhile, no commercial tenants have signed for space in the project costing several million dollars.

Some two-dozen folks are on a list for buying condos that could cost about $200,000.

"Some seniors want something easy to look after, and not have to move away."

But he has to look after city hall's concerns.

"The city wants us to replace the sidewalk, and pave the lane," he said of access south off Herbert, near a church property.

"That's great, but it all adds up to thousands and thousands of dollars.

"But city hall seemed very enthusiastic from the beginning, and said we'd be a big asset for the hill."


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