A prominent corner of Creekside is set for a big makeover after a rezoning application gained council's approval on Oct. 17.
The Creekside Plaza rejuvenation project, as it's referred to in an Oct. 17 report to council, seeks to redevelop the properties at 2010 and 2011 Innsbruck Dr. (located at the corner of Highway 99 and Lake Placid Road).
Plans for the plaza include a new building at 2010 Innsbruck (replacing the old Rosie's House/Boston Pizza building) featuring two commercial units and four, one-bedroom employee-housing units, as well as a BC Liquor store as an "anchor tenant" in the existing building at 2011 Innsbruck.
The liquor store would be relocated from its existing location across the street.
The commercial spaces will likely be leased to food service operators, and the housing would be committed to businesses in the Plaza.
The property is owned by Dan Jekubik and family under the name Creekside Plaza Ltd.
Jekubik did not respond to a request for comment before Pique's deadline, but detailed the rationale for the application in a letter to resort planners.
The family has invested more than $1.3 million in the property since acquiring it in 2010, Jekubik wrote, and having a new building and BC Liquor as an anchor would help drive traffic to existing tenants.
"Allowing for these changes would help us keep our valued tenants, attract quality tenants in the future, and strengthen the community with a convenience-oriented mall," Jekubik wrote.
"However, these improvements will be costly especially to our small family company, and are only possible with the covenant of a BC Liquor store lease. Without the BC Liquor store, we will not have the capacity to rebuild the 'Boston Pizza' building or operate as we have in the past."
The new building will feature large windows, roof overhangs and a prominent chimney feature, and will be built in line with Whistler's "high quality of development and mountain character," according to the report to council.
The RMOW's Advisory Design Panel (ADP) reviewed the project designs in July, and supported the project in principle while offering some specific recommendations. Another ADP review will take place before the rezoning bylaw is brought to council for consideration.
After the presentation, council agreed that it was nice to see the rejuvenation project move forward.
"We've talked for a number of years about how do we get property owners to reinvest in their properties, and this is a substantial reinvestment, it's not a façade, its not a building envelope, it's a whole new building and it includes an employee housing component to it that will be tied to the businesses below," said Councillor John Grills. "I think it's great to see this moving along."
Before the presentation, Lance Bright, speaking on behalf of Roland's Creekside Beer & Wine Store, asked if the inclusion of the BC Liquor Store could be decoupled from the zoning amendment.
"We are in full support of anything that rejuvenates Creekside, but of course we have some grave concerns about the movement of the liquor store," Bright said.
The location of the liquor store is up to the province, noted Chief Administrative Officer Mike Furey, but there will be opportunities for public comment as the rezoning process moves along.
The proposed zoning amendment bylaw will be subject to a public hearing before moving forward.