Work is continuing on the historically significant Trites-Leroux mansion in Fernie, with the owners hoping to have restorative and development work on the main building completed before the end of the year.
The mansion is now weather-proof, with work completed on repairing the roof and windows.
Trites-Leroux, located on 4th Ave in Fernie has been a construction site for almost two years, with work originally focused on removing asbestos from the site.
Owned by a trio of local business owners who purchased the property in 2018, they hoped to restore the mansion to its former glory and add units to the building in order to get a return on investment.
Their original plans were for six units to be in the main building, which would require the roof-line to be raised, and two additional buildings to be added to the property for a total of 12 high-end units.
The owners managed to get their plans past the city council, which was lobbied by neighbours to reject the proposal based on parking concerns in mid-2020.
However, construction costs forced them to revise their plans anyway, reducing the number of units planned for the main building from six to four (removing the need to raise the roof) in 2021.
It has taken a long time for the mansion to get this far – and a lot of frustration for the owners – the mansion had gone on the market in late 2020, but did not sell.
Now, one of the owners, local dentist Dr. Amos Kahane told The Free Press that they were focused solely on restoring and completing the main building, which now will only have three units.
The extra buildings (and six units to be added to the site) are not planned right now, but the owners retain the ability to add them at a later date as per the original Heritage Revitalization Agreement (HRA) granted to them in 2020, which allowed changes to the main building and additions to the lot in return for the restoration of the historically significant building, which is deemed to be beneficial to the character and history of Fernie.
The restoration of the main building is hoped to be completed before the end of 2022, with repairs to the roof and windows completed already.
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