Co-op slated to stay put

Food store and gas station renew lease in Keating

Peninsula Co-op has planned to stay in its current location in Keating for the foreseeable future.

Peninsula Co-op announced last week it will retain its lease on the property in Keating rather than seeking a new location for its food store and gas bar.

“Six months ago when I started here, I really had a serious look at where we are in the food business and where we want to go,” said Co-op Peninsula CEO Dave Hoy.

“When I looked at all the options we had I really found the best option was to stay here for the foreseeable future,” he said.

Over the last two years there have been talks about moving the Co-op food store to other property owned by the organization in Brentwood Bay as well as partnering with local First Nations to build on land on Stelly’s X Road.

Last week the company signed a long-term lease with Devon Properties which will see them stay in their Keating location for the foreseeable future.

“We’ll be keeping the land we already own in Co-op’s assets but instead of moving anywhere we’ll put the money into the current store and gas bar,” said Hoy.

The last time the store in Keating had a facelift, Hoy said, was in 1997. He estimates the company will put in close to $2 million into refurbishing the store, mostly which will be cosmetic upgrades.

“We will be doing lots of inside renovations including updates to the bakery, deli, frozen foods and produce sections as well as to the gas bar where we’ll upgrade the gas pumps to be pay-at-the-pump and do some cosmetic work on the convenience store,” Hoy said.

Hoy will present the year’s budget to the board sometime in January and said he hopes to start the renovations in April, staying open for the duration and aiming for completion in early 2014.

Hoy said the other tenants in the mall seem to be very happy that Co-op is slated to stay, as are the employees of Co-op.

“I’m really looking forward to it and I know the staff are happy because a firm decision has been made.”