Both 2123 and 2125 Columbia Ave. have been rented since September of last year.

Both 2123 and 2125 Columbia Ave. have been rented since September of last year.

Few empty retail spaces left in downtown Rossland

There were 11 empty retail spaces downtown last fall, but since then a number of new businesses have opened.

There were 11 empty retail spaces in downtown Rossland last fall, but since then a number of new businesses have opened leaving only a handful of spaces left to fill.

In September 2015, the Rossland News took stock of the empty retail spaces in downtown Rossland and reported that there were ten empty spaces, accidentally overlooking 2207 Columbia Ave. as there was no visible rental sign. Of the 11 empty storefronts, six were on the 2100 block, but most of those spaces have since been filled.

Jami Hughes is the owner of Treasure Mountain Jewel Shop (2110 Columbia Ave.) and opened the store on Dec. 5. Hughes is a trained jeweler, and many of the pieces in her shop are ones she created. She also sells jewelry made by other local artists and does jewelry repair. She came to Rossland from Calgary and found the city beautiful; since Rossland didn’t have a jewelry store at the time, she decided to open one.

Two doors down another new store called Maboue and Co. (2118 Columbia Ave.) now also sells jewelry, as well as other BC made items.

Across the street, Rossland now has it’s own computer repair shop. Mark Steeves opened Rossland Computer Repair (2125 Columbia Ave.) on March 1 and says he’s excited by the reception the store has received. He is originally from Kelowna and returned to BC from Alberta after the collapse of oil cost him many of his customers.

Next door, Steeves has a new neighbour. Bombshack, a children’s consignment store, opened on April 2. Owner Alicia Gray worked at Out of the Cellar where Janet Haskins mentored her, and as a mother of four she saw a need for a children’s clothing store. Gray also carries some new clothing for boys and is looking to bring in gender neutral clothing as well. She buys used clothing in good condition by appointment. Fitting with the theme begun by other new businesses in town, Gray also wanted to offer locally made jewelry and carries pieces created by a local 12-year-old.

At the west end of the block, New Edition Café and Books is settling into its new home at the old Ross Vegas location and should be open soon. This, of course, leaves a new empty space at the store’s old location on Washington St.

East on Columbia, Mook Thai Cuisine (2207 Columbia Ave.) has set up shop in the old Alpine Grind location. Owner Thanyanan Quirk opened her restaurant on Dec. 18. She previously ran a small catering company and decided that Rossland needed an authentic Thai restaurant. She says that so far business has been very good.

Over on Washington St., Stephanie Gauvin’s Art/Studio Gallery (2070 Washington St. #2) has been open since Nov. 1 and Mindful Mountain Yoga (1990C Columbia Ave. with entrance on Washington St.) is coming soon.

Of the 11 spots that were vacant in September, only three remain empty.

Ronald Mah, owner of Ying Café, has been trying to rent out 2024 Columbia Ave. for more than a year and a half. While he says he’s had lots of inquiries, not one has followed through. Ideally he’d like to see the location used for retail and wants a tenant who’s willing to sign a long term lease. He says he’d even be willing to rent out the space to two tennants who’d share the space.

Le Roi Mall is the only empty spot left on the 2100 block and Dave Thoss, realtor and property manager for Century 21, says that “the owner has removed some of the dated finishings and it’s ready for someone to create a business space.” Century 21 is also managing 2070 Washington St. #1, which remains empty, but Thoss says he’s had lots of inquiries regarding the spot.