Historic downtown building now up for grabs

January 11, 2014

By: Spencer Anderson / Daily News

The Halse Block in downtown Nanaimo, known by its civic address 200-206 Commercial St., is listed for sale at $850,000.
An historical part of Nanaimo's downtown is up for sale.
The two-storey commercial building is located at 260 Commercial St., also known as the Halse Block (200-206 Commercial St.).
The building is listed for $850,000 as a 'featured property' on brokerage firm DTZ Nanaimo's website.
The ad says the structure has been in the city's downtown for more than 60 years. It is divided into three commercial spaces currently occupied by Nyla Boutique, Lux Accessory Boutique and Powerhouse Living Foods Co.
In fact, the building was constructed in 1909 for original owner George Halse, according to an assessment of the building done for the city in 1998.
It was assessed at $27,100 in 1911.
The bottom floor was occupied by the Ken Thompson Menswear store for 42 years.
The Thompson family lived upstairs after purchasing the building in 1957.
The building is not listed on the city's heritage register. However, it is included in the city's official community plan within the downtown heritage conservation area, according Chris Sholberg, community and heritage planner.
The building is therefore given some protection under the Local Government Act, and Sholberg said that if a developer wants to make "significant" changes to the exterior of the building, they would be required to get a heritage alteration permit first.
"Of course, we want to see these buildings used and adapted for other uses," he said.