Surrey’s long-vacant 104 Avenue building could soon see signs of life, now that a new owner has the keys.
Kuldeep Bansal says he took possession of the 271,000-square-foot commercial complex on Wednesday (April 27), and expects tenant improvements to happen this spring and summer.
“It’s fully leased,” Bansal said of the Whalley/Guildford building, bought for more than $55 million.
“We are now waiting for permits from the city to start completing the work, the tenant improvements,” he added. “It takes time for everything, so we expect tenants to move in in October or November.”
Tenants will include a grocery store, doctors’ offices, pharmacy, daycare, two colleges and B.C. government offices, he said.
The sale could signal the end of a long, 24-year saga for the notorious building, constructed in 1998. No long-term tenants have ever been found.
Surrey’s long-vacant 104 Avenue building could soon see signs of life, now that a new owner has the keys, as of yesterday.
“It’s fully leased,” Kuldeep Bansal says of the building, bought for more than $55 million.
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Bansal came to light as a potential new owner of the building in January, in a deal with Arizona-based owner Donald Pitt that suggested a March 23 closing date, subject to a series of payments.
Now, the deal is apparently done.
Originally from India, Bansal said his business background includes pharmaceuticals marketing and immigration consultancy.
In 2019, Bansal had his immigration consultant licence suspended by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (now known as College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants, or CICC). An affidavit said Bansal “actively recruited” foreign workers and did not provide promised jobs.
“That was reinstated – I’m in good standing right now,” Bansal said on Feb. 1.
On the CICC website, Bansal was then listed as “Active – Practice Restricted,” indicating a licensee who has had their practice restricted as part of an interim order or disciplinary finding.
With 104 Avenue Centre, developers originally planned for an Asian-themed “showmart” facility in the late-1990s, but those plans were scrubbed.
Pitt, a lawyer who helped launch the Phoenix Suns NBA basketball team decades ago, bought the building in the mid-2000s. Construction was completed at that time, and since then, prospective renters and/or buyers have included Fraser Health, Simon Fraser University and RCMP, but all deals eventually didn’t happen.
Potential uses pitched for the building have included banquet hall, office space, homes, restaurants, bowling alley, even an auto-sales lot on the ground floor, and the structure has been rented to movie companies over the years.
In January, Bansal said he has noticed the vacant building for sale a few years ago, and took action to buy it after doing some market research.