The former Victory Church on Winnipeg Street is now behind a fence following the sale of the building. Mark Brett/Western News

Changes coming soon to Victory Church

The nuisance property is under new ownership, to become commercial space

A Penticton property that has been a hot spot in the past for loitering, vandalism and other offences is now under new ownership.

Penticton bylaw services supervisor Tina Siebert said they have been called to the 352 Winnipeg St. (Victory Church) at least 20 times this past year.

“In the summer we saw a lot more complaints there than in the colder months,” said Siebert. “On our end it was (people) gathering and loitering on the property. Given that it’s a private property, we got a lot of complaints about gatherings. Multiple times we had to call the RCMP for assistance, where there was drug activity and public intoxication.”

According Fox and Fox Penticton Real Estate’s Philip Fox, who handled the sale of the 352 Winnipeg St., the site was first listed in March 2018.

“The sale officially closed at the end of November, beginning of December,” said Fox. “A Vancouver investor has purchased the building.”

Fox said the new owner intends to “give the building a new facade” by adding windows and enclosing the parkade. This work is pending as the owner is in the process of applying for a development permit from the city.

Siebert said bylaw officers and members of the RCMP met with the previous building owners a few months ago to address what changes could be made to the property to discourage further complaints.

“What we were trying to get them to do is install some better lighting and open the area up a bit more,” said Siebert. “But they were on their way out, with the change in ownership.”

“Much of the issues that were found on the Victory Church property were minor, involving mostly homeless people sleeping underneath the parkade and stairwell. These issues will be alleviated based on the new owner’s redevelopment of this property,” said Const. James Grandy.

For now the property remains fenced off and locked up, a measure done in preparation for the upcoming construction according to Fox. He said the owner may be enclosing the building’s parkade in order to open up more commercial space outside of it.

“The owner is working with an architect right now, and then the building will be leased out,” said Fox. “(When they do that) it’ll probably be divided into three or four commercial units inside. But a whole new face-lift or new facade to the building to revitalize it.”

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