FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Two companies in Fort St. John are aiming to keep jobs local and make their mark on a big project that is set to get underway later this year.
Western Canadian Construction Properties and Peace Enterprises which are both located in the Energetic City, placed bids for the project. Bidding closed as of Thursday.
Western Canadian Construction Properties has offices in Vancouver and Fort St. John and they have been building in Fort St. John for the past four years.
As Vice President Jim Ferrie from WCP explains, placing a bid locally was a no brainer for the company.
“One of the big things was that we’re working up here, we work with a lot of the local trades up here and we work with a lot of the local engineering firms up here and over the last four years, we have gotten to know the players and suppliers very well.”
Ferrie himself recently moved up to Fort St. John and thinks that a local company has a very strong chance of landing the bid.
“Our sort of goal was that we though, with our experience developing in the north, we could have could have a good chance of winning this bid and we would like to see it go to a local firm that is going to keep as much of the work with different trades and different suppliers local. When Vancouver companies come up, they tend to ship materials up and bring all of their trades up so the whole idea of this was to benefit the local economy and the local trades.”
Western Canadian Properties says that the building would be a Passive House Building which is similar to the Passive House Fort St. John currently owns.
“There are very few certified Passive House buildings this large in Canada right now but it is becoming a standard for BC Housing and 20 years from now it will probably be the standard for energy efficient buildings so we want to be part of that. It is definitely a challenging building and energy efficient and it will certainly help Fort St. John.”
Peace Enterprises did confirm to Energeticcity.ca that they have placed a bid but were not available to comment by publish time.
Fort St. John City Councillor and Real Estate Agent Trevor Bolin says that is happy to see two local companies in the bidding process.
“I’m so happy to hear that two local companies are bidding on this project.
Both a developer and Realtor myself, I know the importance of a project of this magnitude for local jobs. The land was available from the city for this project and it will be great to see a new building come to fruition.
The city of Fort St. John worked very hard in dealing with BC Hydro to ensure some of these units are for local needs upon construction being finished and the rest for local groups to benefit from upon this project is complete. With the real estate market changing from 2016 already this early in the year, I am sure by the time this project is complete, they will be a very welcome addition to our market.”
Ferrie added they are expecting to receive some initial feedback in a week regarding their bid.
“This is a designed build so it is more complicated compared to just bidding on a set of drawings. We have to provide them with samples of what we are going to design or preliminary designs and cost estimates based on that.”
The proposed site for the housing project is located at 9404 93 Avenue. BC Housing said back in December that they chose the land based on its central location within the city-centre of Fort St. John, its proximity to services and suitability to the development of a 50 unit affordable housing project.