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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Condill Hotel has been purchased by the City of Fort St. John.

In a press release, the city states that the purchase decision was based on the City’s Downtown Action Plan adopted by Council in 2015.

“The acquisition of land in downtown Fort St. John is one strategy used by Council to facilitate the redevelopment of the city centre in a manner consistent with the community’s vision for a family friendly and safe downtown.”

The City plans to tear down the hotel as it is at the end of its life cycle. Communications Coordinator with the City of Fort St. John, Julie Rogers, says the tear down will happen as soon as possible once the the City takes possession of the property on September 15. Once that is complete, the land will be sold to a developer who is willing to develop it according to the downtown plan of the City.

“The vacant land will be added to the City’s Strategic Land Assembly and be available for sale in the future. Any proposed development will follow the Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaws that guide the form and character of any new or renovated building in the downtown core.”

Mayor Lori Ackerman says they are looking to improve the downtown core for Fort St. John visitors and residents.

“We listened to you. When the opportunity presented itself, we made the decision to purchase the building so we can improve the culture and character of our downtown.”

Council has also asked that any future redevelopment of the site recognize the historic importance that the building had.

“It’s the end of an era,” said Mayor Ackerman. “The building has a long history in our community, and although the useful life of the building is over, we want do our best to preserve its memory.”

Trevor Bolin acted for the seller as the listing agent but recused himself from any discussions that the City had with the purchase of the hotel.

“They [the city] hired a third party local realtor to act on their behalf. I think it is comforting for people to know that it was handled very properly.”

The hotel was owned by Elaine and Leo Budnick. Leo Budnick passed away during the process of selling the hotel and Bolin wanted to do something in remembrance.

“I let them know that my plans were, half of the commission that I earned on my side of it, that I asked their permission to donate $15,000 to a local non-profit or community group in order to do more of a memorial for Leo and Elaine and the Condill so that memory lives on for everything they have done in the community.

Leo was a huge champion of Fort St. John back in the 70’s. He brought up Stomping Tom Connors and held a benefit concert and all the funds that were raised went to building the new Kids Arena because it had burnt down. I want to ensure that his memory stays on.”

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