By Lethbridge Herald on March 15, 2020.
The Sumus Property Group intends to turn the Lethbridge downtown post office building into a premiere community business hub and the star attraction of the City’s overall downtown revitalization strategy.
“The goal is really to create a vibrant, new hub in downtown Lethbridge,” says Sumus Group managing director Kendal Hachkowski. “There hasn’t traditionally been an opportunity for businesses of varying sizes to purchase and own space in the downtown. We are going to bring that option to them with 700- to 7,000-square-foot options. That also allows them to become stewards of this historic piece of property in downtown Lethbridge.”
“You will get small marketing agencies, communication agencies, start-ups, new businesses that now have an option in downtown Lethbridge either to lease or own that wouldn’t have been previously available.”
When the renovation phase of the project, which will be branded as the “Post,” is complete in about two years, says Hachkowski, there will be 25 units available, and an amazing built environment inside while retaining all the historic outer features which make it a treasure to the community.
“We will have amenity space, fitness studios, wellness studios, rooftop patios, tenant lounges, tenant nooks, and showers and change rooms,” he says. “It really creates a new community and an environment to build out from in downtown Lethbridge.”
One of the main features of that built environment will be “The Street” feature, which will create a through walkway between the historic building’s 4 Avenue and 7 Street South entries.
“We are connecting them inside the building with a ‘Street,’ as we are calling it,” confirms Hachkowski. “It will be a corridor through the building where all the building’s amenities will be cordoned off of. It also gives the ability to create those units as small as 700 square feet. That Street will become an integral part of building community in the building, and will function as though it is the heart of the property.”
The City will also be supporting the project by helping beautify the external environment surrounding the building, says City of Lethbridge urban revitalization manager Andrew Malcolm. This will include enhanced street lighting, new trees and plants, and the extension of the City’s bike avenue going down 7 Street South right by the building and onward toward 4 Avenue South.
“This is going to be key to all our revitalization efforts,” says Malcolm. “It is important to set the standard of the next 10 years of redevelopment in the downtown. This (project) comes at a critical point for us. There is no doubt we have been through some challenges recently in the downtown. So to see private investment in the most iconic building in Lethbridge comes at an incredibly important time for us, and the City is very excited to be supporting it.”
“Our contribution is to improve the sidewalk, the trees, the lighting and making it all come together to ensure this is truly a community hub inside and out,” Malcolm adds.
The total value of the project once completed will be about $17 million.
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