Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Huu-ay-aht finalize purchse of Post Office

Deal would see building serve as First Nations' head office

Eric Plummer / Alberni Valley Times

After sitting vacant for six years, a large federal building at Argyle and Fourth is set to have a new owner.

The Huu-ay-aht First Nations are working through the final details of a deal to purchase the 4,495-square-foot building. The former post office would serve as the First Nations' head office, replacing their current location down the hill at Third Avenue and Napier Street.

"The Huu-ay-aht has accepted an offer on the post office," said James Edwards, executive director of the First Nations. "It is subject to some conditions around inspections, financing and the approval of the Huu-ayaht executive council." Chief Councilor Jeff Cook said that after a three-year search for better office space, the First Nations took a serious look at the old federal building due to its vicinity to other governments, including city hall across the street. If the purchase follows through, the building would also house a daycare.

"It's got the space that we require," said Cook. "There's not too many options out there."

"The other major consideration is access to transit," added Edwards. "One of the things we have to ensure is that we are accessible to our citizens."

Terms of the purchasing agreement are yet to be released, but earlier this year the property was listed for $649,000.

Built in 1959, Canada Post vacated the building in 2008 after employees cited unsafe working conditions, including structural problems, leakage issues, out-ofdate heating and lighting systems as well as the presence of hazardous materials.

Edwards cautioned that the purchase depends on final approval from the Huy-ay-aht's executive council.

"We have to do our due diligence to make sure that the building meets our needs," he said.

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