Work has started at the former Vernon Legion building in downtown Vernon to revitalize the space. (Welbec Properties photo)

Work has started at the former Vernon Legion building in downtown Vernon to revitalize the space. (Welbec Properties photo)

Old Vernon Legion site finally gets a facelift

Demolition underway at property plagued by vandalism and vagrants

A downtown Vernon property plagued by vandalism and vagrants is on the mend.

Demolition is underway at the old Royal Canadian Legion site on the corner of 31st Avenue and 33rd Street (across from the city bylaw office).

Welbec Properties bought the site this year to, “continue revitalizing Vernon’s downtown core,” the company said.

Welbec had already re-developed the adjacent property, a former department store, into a 40,000 square foot mixed use property anchored by Service Canada. And now Industra Construction has been brought in to remediate and demolish the neighbouring neighbourhood eyesore which has been boarded up for approximately 11 years.

“Prior to Welbec’s purchase, the unoccupied and boarded-up building had caused hundreds of complaints from local businesses and residents,” the company said.

READ MORE: Complaints abound over old Vernon Legion site

A suspicious fire in 2016, open drug use, homeless camps, sex workers and vandalism are among the activities that have taken place since the Legion moved out in approximately 2009.

Therefore it is welcome news that activity is finally taking place to demolish the run-down building.

“Thanks Welbec Properties for this much-needed investment in Vernon’s downtown, we appreciate you,” Downtown Vernon Association executive director Susan Lehman said.

There were plans in 2016 to construct seniors housing and commercial space at the site. Although a development variance permit was issued, the development failed to proceed.

READ MORE: Development gets green light

READ MORE: High profile Vernon property could redevelop


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jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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RenovationsRoyal Canadian Legion

 

Open drug use and vagrancy at the former Legion building in downtown Vernon continues to be an issue. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Open drug use and vagrancy at the former Legion building in downtown Vernon continues to be an issue. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)