Extreme makeover

A downtown building with a long history is undergoing a makeover that should sustain it for the next few decades.

A downtown building with a long history is undergoing a makeover that should sustain it for the next few decades.

The commercial building on the northwest corner of Gaetz Avenue and 48th Street (Alexander Way) will receive a new facade in the coming months. Interior renovations have been underway for some time, said Dale Trueman of Re/Max Real Estate Central Alberta, the building’s leasing agent.

The single-storey building, which measures about 16,000 square feet, housed Monsieur Wong’s restaurant from 1981 until recently and remains the home of Off Tha Hook clothing store and Cash Solutions. It was once the site of Red Deer Motors, said City of Red Deer archivist John Lund.

Earlier this week, Red Deer’s municipal planning commission approved the new exterior design proposed for the building.

It includes a stucco finish with cultured stone accents, a tower structure on the structure’s southeast corner and gables above its entrances.

“They’re gong to maintain the basic look of the building but they’re going to redo the facades on Gaetz and Alexander to make the building a little more modern and better-looking,” said Trueman.

“Major work” has already been done inside to improve such things as mechanical systems and energy efficiency.

“It will be a big improvement on what’s there,” said Trueman, adding that the owners expect the new look to last “20 years or so.”

Construction should wrap up by the end of summer, he said, but the premises are ready for tenant improvements.

“We’re talking to a number of tenants.”

Inquiries about retail and office use have been received, he said, and interest has also been expressed about restaurant potential.

Monsieur Wong’s has relocated to shared premises with Sam’s Cafe South at 1927 50th Ave.

Sam Wong, who owns both restaurants, said previously that he plans to eventually move Monsieur Wong’s to its own location, likely on the city’s south side.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com