- Our Town
Village Square expansion underway
A major renovation of Village Square in Snug Cove started this past week with the removal of the stairs on the east side of the Square beside the Ruddy Potato. Property manager David Bellringer says the renovation will add 2000 square feet of retail and office space to the square, and the goal for its completion is June 2014.
The project was prompted chiefly by the Credit Union’s need for more space. The lower part of the new building alongside the existing building on the north side of Village Square will become the Credit Union’s new home, providing it with close to 2100 square feet of space in comparison to the 900 square feet in its current location.
“For us, this move really signals our success to date,” says branch manager Kevin Manning. “We started from scratch in 2007 with zero members, zero dollars, second hand furniture and a two-year exit strategy, now we’re signing a lease.”
The lease will with Harris Properties for the space will be for 10 years, so Manning says it should indicate to Bowen Islanders that the Credit Union is here to stay.
The extra space will allow for a number of other changes to take place at the Credit Union. For one, there will be room for more staff.
“We’ve been able to afford to hire more people than we’ve had space for for some time now,” says Manning. “But before we start looking for new employees I would like to offer our four part-time employees more hours.”
The extra space will allow for more privacy between bank staff and customers, an issue that Manning says has come up repeatedly on customer surveys.
There will also be a drop box for deposits available 24-hours, as well as a walk-in vault with security deposit boxes.
“We’ve already had 50 people sign up for a security deposit box,” says Manning, “And I know that once it is built there will be much more interest.”
The Ruddy Potato will also expand its floor space with this renovation.
The Ruddy’s general manager, Ellen MacIntosh says she has some ideas about what the store will do with its extra 1300 square feet of floor space, but isn’t ready to discuss them.
“We are excited about getting more room though, just so people won’t be so crowded in with their shopping carts,” says MacIntosh. “With the Credit Union moving, that just gave us the opportunity to grow and we’ve been open since 2001 so it is probably time to do something.”
The Ruddy Potato will be tracking the renovation’s progress on its website. MacIntosh says she is open to customer ideas on what to do with the extra space.
Bellringer says he hopes this renovation signals the beginning of the revitalization of Snug Cove.
“There’s so much potential in the Cove,” he says, “ and I am proud to be working with local businesses that are thriving and growing.”