Raising the roof of Oyster Bay Quay in Ladysmith

Ladysmith's newest commercial development is being raised later this week.

Carol Wagenaar shows off the plans for the new Oyster Bay Quay commercial development on Oyster Bay Drive.  The building is being raised this Friday morning.

Carol Wagenaar shows off the plans for the new Oyster Bay Quay commercial development on Oyster Bay Drive. The building is being raised this Friday morning.

Developers of Ladysmith’s newest commercial development project are planning to “raise the roof” later this week.

Oyster Bay Quay — a two-level, 32,000-square-foot building zoned for light industrial use — has been pieced together through tilt-up construction and is ready for assembly.

Developer Carol Wagenaar says things have been moving at record pace since the groundbreaking in May, and the project is right on track for a Spring 2013 opening.

“The gateway to Ladysmith is what we’re creating here — we’re taking an industrial piece of property that’s not very attractive and we’re building on the development that’s happening on the water side of our community,” said Wagenaar, who is heading the project with her husband Garry. “It’s exciting because it’s going to be something very beautiful that will get people stopping in our town.”

The building, at 1030 Oyster Bay Dr., is being built in two phases — once the first half (Phase 1) is fully leased, the construction of the second half will begin.

Level 1 of the building will be accessed from the harbour side and has been designed for a mix of light industrial and retail uses.  Level 2, accessed from the Trans-Canada Highway side, has been designed with office, retail or restaurant purposes in mind.

Wagenaar said a small percentage of Phase 1 space has been leased, but she could not disclose which businesses would be moving in.

“We’re working hard on our marketing plan and making contacts with potential tenants,” she said. “We’re looking to bring new businesses to Ladysmith.”

She added that they are also welcoming current Ladysmith businesses who want to consider optional, more modern and customizable space. With an approximate 24,000 cars passing through per day (from a 2008 study), the building also offers high visibility.

“Ladysmith is a beautiful heritage town — not every business can operate in a heritage-type building,” said Wagenaar.

Other possible uses for the space include medical and dental offices, financial services and wood product manufacturing.

“This would be a great opportunity to create more of a building centre for cabinets, countertops, decorating, being in such close proximity to Home Hardware,” Wagenaar said.

The crane will be arriving Thursday afternoon for the raising of the building, but Wagenaar suggested that anyone wanting to check out the building raising should do so Friday morning.

“It’s going to be really exciting to watch the panels being tilted up,” she said. “The building will actually be obvious to people at that point.”

Concrete contractor Chris Truckle of CTT Pioneer Industries explained that tilt-up construction employs concrete casting in its method. All of a building’s fundamentals, such as walls, columns and structural supports are formed horizontally on a concrete slab. Then a crane is brought in to raise the pieces to a standing position and braced while the roof is put on.

“This is faster, maybe a little more expensive, but you have a finished product once the panels are stood up,” he said. “It’s a stronger building; you could wood frame this building, but it wouldn’t be the same.”

For full building details and contact information, visit the Oyster Bay Quay website.