Bank Of Montreal Building Rises Again - New Downtown Development Approved

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
April 1st, 2009

April 1, 2009.

An emergency city council meeting was held early this morning to discuss a development proposal for the old Bank of Montreal building. The Rossland Telegraph has learned that development firm Growing On Tall Corporate Housing Associates, based out of Santa Monica, California has been looking for a location to house its corporate headquarters for the past year. And they’ve decided on The Golden City.

Speaking on behalf of the project, principal and CEO A. Fulz noted that Rossland was “Exactly the kind of town we were looking for to construct out latest project. We have found that smaller towns are generally easier to negotiate better terms with as the desire for economic diversification generally wins out over petty aesthetics.” Questioning whether or not she believed her corporation’s new development would be an eyesore on our small mainstreet Fulz replied. “Definitely not. We’re taking an old crumbling building and raising it to new heights. Literally. The views from our offices and residential suites are going to be spectacular.”

The project itself involves the complete tearing down of the Bank of Montreal Building and the construction of a modern ten story steel and glass residential and office tower. In an effort to preserve the historic feel of Rossland’s historic Columbia Avenue business district, the exterior facade of the old building will be preserved and reconstructed around the lower four stories. The building will house the Growing On Tall Corporate Housing Association’s corporate headquarters in the north end of the bulding while the south facing Columbia Avenue side of the building will contain four 4,000 square foot residential suites to be occupied by the company’s directors. Situated on the roof of the building will be a helicopter pad complete with a Bell A320 12 seat helicopter.

When questioned on the need for a helicopter pad Fulz responded bluntly. “As a perk to our employees to convince them to relocate form our San Diego offices to Rossland, we have developed a system where our employees will only be spending four days a week working in Rossland. On their off days we will use the helicopter to shuttle them directly to Castlegar Airport where our corporate aircraft will fly them home to their families in California for the weekends.”

As an additional employee perk, an innovative eight story central internal atrium was designed into the complex to recreate the feel of southern California for breaks and afterhours recreation inside the complex. Complete with palm trees, a 25 metre pool lined with sand imported from the beaches of California, lounge chairs, a cabana and an innovative LED motion picture graphic wall surrounding the atrium which plays a live scene from webcams placed on the sands of La Jolla Beach, employees will literally never have to leave the building. The central atrium will be kept at a constant 28 degrees celsius year round with a scenting system that mists a slight salt spray into the air giving it a true seaside feeling.

“The down side of your village is that it is cold and, frankly, not California. We will be spending $30 million USD on creating an experience within our complex that will allow our employees to never have to leave the complex apart from the heli-shuttle to and from the jet in Castlegar,” explained Fulz. “We’ve heard that in the past the local population has been less than thrilled about new development, so we’ve developed a safe and secure environment that will keep our employees safe from any backlash from the villagers.”

As to concerns that any Rosslanders might have about diminished views, Fulz is quick to note that views are not being diminished, merely relocated. “Red Mountain is still there. While you people may no longer be able to see it from the southeast part of town, that area’s view has merely been transplanted to our offices which, I am glad to report, boast spectacular views.”

Construction of the project which is slated to begin immediatley is expected to employ approximately 100 Californian construction workers over a two year span. Annual taxes from the project are estimated to inject $30 million per year into the municipal government’s coffers.
According to city council (who refused to comment individually on the project prefering to speak with one voice writing in a press release forwarded to the Telegraph), “The tax revenues from this project alone will solve all of Rossland’s bylaw policing issues and allow us to completely monitor pet and teenager activity. We beleive that the zoning changes required regarding height and density on the lot are well worth the benefits Rosslanders will see from this project moving forward.”

As a condition on the development proposal, all zoning changes and approval processes must be completed no later than noon today or the company will pull its project and move the development to another, more willing town. Seeing an opportunity to bring a new revenue stream online for Rossland, city council voted 6 to 1 in favour of the project with Councillor Charlton opposing the motion. Councillor Charlton on reading through the fine print of the development agreement put forward uncovered a line that allowed the developer a twenty five year tax holiday as an incentive for Growing On Tall to locate its headquarters here.

Upon hearing that the development proposal was accepted by city hall a press release was immediatley issued by the developers.

“We look forward to bringing a new cornerstone to the people of Rossland for your fine city to build upon and look forward to commencing construction immediately.”

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