Fitness centre proposed for former CHCA-TV premises

A portion of the former premises of CHCA-TV in Red Deer could soon return to use — this time as a fitness centre. City council has voted to allow such a use at the 2840 Bremner Ave. building, which is owned by Jim Pattison Developments Ltd. Council’s approval was required because the area is zoned direct control, and a fitness facility is deemed a discretionary use under that zoning.

A portion of the former premises of CHCA-TV in Red Deer could soon return to use — this time as a fitness centre.

City council has voted to allow such a use at the 2840 Bremner Ave. building, which is owned by Jim Pattison Developments Ltd. Council’s approval was required because the area is zoned direct control, and a fitness facility is deemed a discretionary use under that zoning.

Michael Lee, vice-president of Jim Pattison Developments, said his company has spoken with two fitness groups about leasing a portion of the building. He expects the facilities will be available for public use.

“We don’t have a tenant in place at this point in time, but we’re hoping that one or two of the parties that expressed interest before will come back to the table.”

About 6,000 square feet on the west side of the main floor of the building would be converted into a fitness centre, he said.

“It’s going to need ventilation, air-conditioning, washrooms and change rooms,” said Lee, adding that windows may be added to the west wall to increase the natural light inside.

Plans also call for the creation of about 70 additional parking stalls, bringing the total for the building to just over 140.

The approximately 13,000 square feet on the main floor of the building became vacant after Canwest Global Communications Corp. shut down CHCA-TV in August 2009. Earlier this year,

The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company took over about 5,000 square feet on the east side.

The second floor of the building is occupied by radio stations 106.7

The Drive and Big 105. Both are owned by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, which is related to Jim Pattison Developments.

If a fitness centre is developed, about 2,000 square feet would remain on the ground level of the building. Lee said this would likely be leased out as office space.

Timelines for the development of the fitness centre is uncertain, but if a tenant is obtained and all goes well, it could be ready for occupancy before the middle of next year, said Lee.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com