Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We have listed answers to many commons questions below. If you don’t see the answer to a question you have, please contact us for an answer. If you are a member of the Kootenay Co-op, you may have different questions than those appearing below. Click here to see the FAQ for Co-op members.

Who is acting as the developer of this project?

The Kootenay Co-op Grocery Store is the developer of this project. Nelson Commons came about when the Co-op began looking for a new and bigger space for their very successful store. The Co-op took possession of the property previously occupied by Extra Foods in downtown Nelson. This includes the entire parking area that runs from Baker to Vernon Streets. A multi-use redevelopment project is under way with the Co-op on the ground floor and lovely residential units on the three floors above.

Will affordable housing units be included in the Nelson Commons development?

Due to generous financial contributions from Vancity Credit Union and the Kootenay Co-op, we will be offering three residential units as “Restricted Resale” homes. These units will be offered to buyers who meet a certain financial criteria (yet to be determined) at about 25% below today’s market value. Those units will only be owner-occupied; they will not be available to rent. When it comes time for those buyers to re-sell their unit, the price would be restricted and the unit will again be sold below market value. The RR buyers will only build equity in their home but will not earn more than an inflation-linked profit on the unit.

What will be the relationship between the Kootenay Co-op and Nelson Commons when the project is completed?

Nelson Commons is the name of the entire project and the residential component. The Kootenay Co-op will be a commercial tenant within the Nelson Commons. The Kootenay Co-op will own their own portion of the building as well as some additional commercial space that will be leased.

How will this project be financed?

The Nelson Commons project will be financed through a combination of the Kootenay Co-op retained earnings ($2.5 million), other equity investors, and Credit Union debt financing. The Co-op store project will be financed through retained earnings, debt financing and a member loan program.

What is the Kootenay Co-op member loan program about?

The Kootenay Co-op held a very successful member loan campaign in the fall of 2013, securing $1.78 million from their membership to help finance the fixtures for the new Co-op. This was the largest amount raised through a member loan program for any natural food co-op in North America! This is good news for Co-op members and anyone who’ll benefit from the amazing new store (like the residents of Nelson Commons).

What is the timeline for the project?

We began pre-selling the residential units at the end of November and hit our presale target at the end of November 2014. We demolished the old building in January/February 2015 and began construction. Construction is well underway and on schedule to meet our residential move-in date of September 30, 2016. We expect the Co-op to move to our new store a little later, in the fall of 2016.

What if all the units don’t sell?

We are optimistic that all residential units will be sold prior to occupancy. If we have unsold units, they will remain on the market until sold.

If I have committed and provided a down payment, and the project doesn’t proceed, will I get my down payment back?

Yes. All funds collected are being held by our lawyer in an escrow account.

Are there any residential units left for sale? If yes, where can I learn more about them?

Right here on our site. Just click here: Residential Units and see what is available, at what price and more.

Are there any commercial spaces available as part of Nelson Commons?

Yes. The commercial component is a very big part of the Commons’ multi-use approach. We have some retailers already committed. To learn about opportunities for commercial space, click here.

Will we be hiring local builders?

The size and complexity of this project has prompted us to bring in a very experienced builder from Vancouver, ITC Construction. The founder of ITC, Peter Rezansoff, and many of his team were born and raised here in the Kootenays. They are committed to using as many local trades and labour as possible and have already made several scouting trips here to assess local resources.

Will we be hiring local professionals?

We have several local professionals working on our team: Steven Kaup of Studio 9 Architecture + Planning, David Dobie of David Dobie Design, Ron Little, CA, David Fisher of New Leaf Landscaping.Mark Harold (Rocky Point Engineering), Peter Ward (Civil Engineering) and a host of City of Nelson professionals.

How green will the new building be?

We are looking at the full menu of ‘green building’ options, many of which have become pretty standard in the building trade. The entire project exemplifies ‘eco-density’ meaning, less land being used by multiple users – residential stacked on top of the commercial. Being downtown will offer the chance to live somewhat vehicle free. Energy efficiency and “built to last” are two other key green elements that we will focus on. We are currently in dialogue with the City of Nelson to connect to their proposed, ‘biomass’ central hot water system.

How green will the new Co-op store be?

The biggest improvement in the Co-op’s ecological footprint will be through energy efficiency. Our current building was never intended to be a grocery store. The heating, cooling and refrigeration systems are very inefficient. Our new store will utilize a fully integrated system whereby heat recaptured from our extensive refrigeration will heat both the store and the underground parking and even preheat our hot water.

How do I purchase a unit?

You can view available units either by visiting our website (www.nelsoncommons.ca) or visiting us at our sales office on the corner of Hendryx and Baker Street, Wednesday through Friday from noon until 4:00 pm). To purchase a unit a deposit of 10% is required upon signing and an additional 5% in 60 days. The non-refundable deposits are held in our lawyer’s trust account.

What if the unit I had hoped for is already sold?

Please come and see us at our showroom. The building has been designed to offer a wide variety of units to meet varying needs. We’re convinced we can help you find something amongst the remaining units.