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Announcements about Nanaimo’s Jean Burns pit expected this summer

Plans for rebuilding on the site of the former Jean Burns building remain up in the air, but becoming a bus depot isn’t on the radar.

Last year, the city had an architect look over the area and draw up plans for a new development.

“We wanted to make sure the site could still support a building and that the dimensions worked and all those good things,” said Director of Corporate and Business Management Bill Corsan. “Some of the public designs we’ve shown to people of commercial street show what the building could look like in that location. This spring we’ll be going back to council and seeking direction on how they want to proceed with that site and how we can bring ’em back into productive use.”

Corsan says there might be some more news about the site this summer, and recognizes there’s a desire to see something happen with the site soon.

He says it will look like the other buildings on commercial street, according to the downtown design guidelines.

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“The conference center is probably a bit of an example,” says Corsan. “You can see the brick on it. We’d expect it to have active uses on the ground floor. So commercial, retail, offices on the second floor maybe. Certainly on the ground floor would be restaurants, shops, and stuff like that.”

In terms of what businesses might move in, Corsan says it’s up to the developer.

The Jean Burns site has been in deliberation for a couple of years now, as the city isn’t exactly sure what to put there. 

“The plans are still sort of coming together. We’ve heard quite clearly from council that the Jean Burns site is desired to be rebuilt as a building,” said Manager of Transportation Jamie Rose. “So that’s what’s gonna be going in that area. There are some upgrades that we’re making on Terminal Avenue like on the highway section. We’ve got some utilities that we need to rebuild and paving to be done, so we’re gonna be doing some cleanup as well there. That’s sort of where we’re at right now.”

On February 12th, a protest against the bus transit exchange on Terminal rallied at the parking lot behind Queens, complete with speeches and signs. 

The Jean Burns building burnt down in 2017.

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