If you’ve ever wanted to own a historic Nanaimo building that was designed by the architect behind the Empress Hotel and the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, now is your chance.
Constructed in 1912, the Free Renaissance-style 321-square-metre building was designed by Francis Mawson Rattenbury, who is best known for designing the provincial parliament buildings and the Empress Hotel in Victoria. It was renovated in the early 2000s and is designated as a heritage building by the City of Nanaimo.
Jay Deleskie, realtor and listing agent, said the building has only been on the market for 12 days but has attracted attention from a number of potential buyers.
“It’s a beautiful building that has only been on the market for a few days now,” he said. “There has been lots of interest both local and out of the area. People are taking notice.”
The Vault Cafe has operated on the ground floor of the building for years and has become a popular place among locals. Deleskie said given its popularity, it’s likely not going anywhere even under new ownership.
“It is such a staple there. I don’t think anybody would want to move The Vault Cafe out of that location,” he said.
The heritage building not only has prominent windows on the first floor but an upstairs with seven rooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a staff room area as well as windows and skylights. Deleskie said the upstairs can be used as office space for a dental or law office or another type of business.
“It’s going through a little bit of a renovation right now,” he said. “The current tenant, which is The Vault, they have the space upstairs and they have broken it into a bunch of different businesses.”
With its status as a well-known heritage building in Nanaimo, Deleskie said potential buyers will not just be those looking for a good investment but also those who want to own a little piece of history.
“You have lots of people who are looking for cash flow in an investment or property like this,” he said. “But you also have people who are looking for a showpiece, a vanity project. It doesn’t matter what type of cash flow it has when you buy it because it’s a collector’s item in many ways.”
Pictures courtesy 460 Realty