Describing it as “stunning,” Williams Lake City Council unanimously approved a permit application Tuesday evening, April 27 by the Janda Group to redevelop the upper level of Boitanio Mall into 82 residential units.
“This is an exciting day for our family and obviously our investment in the community over the last, it’s been over a decade now,” said Sonny Janda, who joined the city council meeting via Zoom.
Janda’s architect also joined the meeting, noting the units will have amazing views overlooking the Stampede Grounds to the southwest and of Boitanio Park to the north where the Janda Group has also committed to developing a small pavilion in the park.
The redevelopment will also boast a universally-accessible parkade using the existing structure as well as modern exterior with a “Cariboo-theme.” Two canopies are also proposed to the west and south entrance of the building which will have adequate snow protection and be aligned with rodeo roof color and exposed wood cladding.
Mayor Walt Cobb said all the comments he has heard about the development have been positive.
“My only comment or my question would be, when do I have to dig out my shovel for ground breaking,” Cobb asked Janda, who responded that as long as the building permit process goes smoothly they should have shovels in the ground in the next month-and-a-half.
Coun. Scott Nelson praised the Janda Group for their past and future investment in the community while also commending them for overcoming several challenges to make the project happen.
“This is a major redevelopment of a prime piece of commercial property in our community. This will simply change the look coming into our community for the better,” Nelson said, noting the redevelopment is one of the largest investments in Williams Lake outside of the $220 million hospital upgrades.
He added the timing for the project is impeccable as Williams Lake is currently experiencing a hot housing market and critical need for more housing.
“It couldn’t come at a better time.”