Steveston heritage building repairs considered 'risky'

Fixing the Phoenix Net Loft in Steveston is considered a “risky project,” which might drive the cost significantly higher than originally anticipated.

A budget was approved two years ago to fix the heritage site for $11.5 million. But a request for bids only produced one, and that came in at $19.44 million.

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There is a high risk the building would collapse during construction given its "highly deteriorated condition," notes a staff report.

Prospective contractors, when approached by the city, also said significant worker safety issues working above water increase the risk of the project. 

“The price received reflects the high cost of managing these risks and worker safety issues,” the report to council states.

Staff is bringing three options to council at next week’s general purposes committee meeting, with options to lower the costs.

Much of the siding has been painted with lead paint, so removing this and using the current siding would add $2.36 million to the project.

Demolition of the Phoenix Net Loft would cost $1.4 million.

The Phoenix Gill Net Loft is the last remaining building of the historical Phoenix cannery, the oldest in Steveston, and was historically used for repairing and storing fishing nets.

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