It’s been a vacant, boarded-up building for years at a prominent corner in Brandon’s downtown. But now, the property at 701 Rosser Ave. is finally seeing some progress.
Ron Fay of RAF Engineering is redeveloping the small building into an office for his business on the main floor, and possibly a residential component on the second storey.
This week, windows were installed and crews are working on minor framing.
"Next week I’m going to start putting the building finish on," Fay said. "The idea being that it will be finished right up to the roof, and sided in so there’s no more plywood showing."
If all goes well, the exterior should be completed in April.
Renaissance Brandon, the city’s downtown development organization, is pleased to see some signs of life in building.
"We are looking forward to the completed redevelopment of this long-vacant building, particularly because a higher and better use of this property will positively impact vitality in the city’s core," said Elisabeth Saftiuk, Renaissance Brandon executive director.
The small building at the corner of Seventh Street and Rosser Avenue was formerly the Chicken Corner restaurant.
In 2012, it was sold to Huangpu Assiniboine Holdings Ltd. and major renovations began, including the removal of the entire second storey.
At that time, the plan was to establish a new restaurant with a rooftop patio. But the project came to a halt and the property changed hands a few years ago, with Fay as the new owner.
Fay said work had been a bit slower than expected, running into some hurdles such as windows being damaged in transit. "It happens in its time … I got the roof put on and the building made weather-tight just before the snow," he said.
Fay is optimistic the project will move ahead more quickly now, and is looking forward to setting up shop in downtown Brandon.