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Innovative entrepreneurial ideas sought for Port Alberni’s iconic train station

Business, non-profits, social enterprises all encouraged to submit proposals
The 1924 train station in Port Alberni and the circa 1950s truck bays offer a variety of interior and exterior space for prospective tenants. The City invites businesses, individuals and organizations to submit their proposals highlighting their commercial vision for the building.

In business, like real estate, location is key. It’s just one reason Island entrepreneurs have been excited to share their vision for a unique opportunity in downtown Port Alberni.

Since issuing a request for proposals last month for the historic Train Station, an iconic fixture at the corner of Argyle Street and Kingsway Avenue, the City has been hearing some exciting ideas, says Pat Deakin, Port Alberni’s Economic Development Manager.

“It’s really a rare opportunity to take advantage of a heritage building with lots of space and parking, great visibility and at the entrance to Harbour Quay,” Deakin says. “We’re really looking forward to receiving a number of proposals so we can decide on what will be in the best interests of the community.”

With the RFP open until June 17, the City is excited to see even more ideas come through. One walk-through of the property was hosted late last month and another is being scheduled, to provide prospective occupants a good feel for the space.

An important catalyst in the revitalization of Port Alberni’s Uptown neighbourhood, the iconic building is currently undergoing seismic upgrades, getting a new roof and other improvements which will be complete before the entrepreneur moves in.

The successful proposal will have the opportunity for long-term commercial tenancy in move-in-ready space. While the exterior is subject to heritage regulations, the inside is essentially a blank canvas for the new tenant.

A truly special property, the site offers:

  1. Unique opportunity – The 1924 train station and the circa 1950s truck bays offer 6,700 square feet of interior space and the site provides 6,300 square feet of courtyard space plus 10,400 square feet of parking.
  2. Exceptional location in a growing community – Located within a provincially and nationally recognized heritage building, the train station fronts on to Argyle Street at the entrance to the community’s primary visitor destination. Steps from Port Alberni’s beautiful waterfront, the location enjoys ample foot traffic, and proximity to the restaurant, shopping and arts district.
  3. Long term opportunity – The successful applicant can transform the interior into their own commercial space, with the security of a long-term lease. Businesses, individuals, groups, organizations and social enterprises are all invited to bring their vision to transform this iconic site into a new, thriving enterprise.

To learn more about the Train Station building and the call for proposals, check out