If you like the way the foot of Lonsdale looks now, you better get a photo.
Council voted last week to set in motion planning and construction that will see the existing foot of Lonsdale totally revamped, from the water up.
If council follows through on the "high level" conceptual plan shown on Monday night, the area will one day be the new home of Presentation House Gallery, an enhanced Spirit Trail connection, a seismically secure retaining wall, traffic and pedestrian improvements for Carrie Cates Court, a new restaurant and patio for the Lot 3 building, landscaping and trees as well as a public plaza. But there is a lot of heavy lifting, literally and figuratively, that must be done before that can happen.
The first thing on the list is tearing up the existing concrete deck, remediating the subsurface, bringing in clean fill and rebuilding the surface.
The city will also have to lift up the historic Pacific Eastern Railway station at 107 Carrie Cates Court and move it to a temporary home at 449 Alder St.
That work is expected to kick off this fall. The city will also carry out a public consultation process to get the high-level designs down to specifics.
That work is meant to dovetail with a separate process the city is kicking off this month to find the right "brand" for the central waterfront, including Lot 5, currently home to a series of temporary beach volleyball nets.
The city is using public feedback to guide that branding process, part of which included a community information meeting on Monday at the Pinnacle Hotel.
Despite some concern from council that the city would wind up painted into a corner and limiting its future options for the site, Mayor Darrell Mussatto was pleased to see the long-time-coming project taking another baby step forward.
"I'm really happy to see us cleaning up the foot of Lonsdale and fixing that deck.. .. It's a very old deck. The concrete is getting worn and the steel is getting exposed," he said.
"I'm happy to see this moving forward in this regard and that the Spirit Trail has a very prominent role, the activation of Lot 3, which is the old coppersmith shop. We anticipate that coming into the city's possession soon."
© Copyright 2013